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Trump Ally McCarthy in Korea to Discuss Future of U.S. Economic Partnerships

Daniel Kim Views  

Kevin McCarthy, the Republican House Minority Leader (left) [Photo=AFP Yonhap News]

Six months before the U.S. presidential election, Kevin McCarthy, a key ally of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, visited South Korea.

During his visit, McCarthy will meet with leading South Korean businesspeople to discuss potential U.S.-Korea economic cooperation.

The Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) hosted a breakfast meeting on the 23rd with McCarthy and major Korean companies at the FKI Tower Conference Center in Yeouido, Seoul.

The event brought together around 20 high-ranking executives from Korea’s top 10 companies, including SK, Hyundai, LG, Hanwha, and LS, to discuss economic cooperation with McCarthy between Korea and the U.S.

“In light of the upcoming U.S. election, which is attracting global attention, there is an urgent need for deep dialogue between the Korean economic community and U.S. opinion leaders,” said FKI Chairman Jin Roy Ryu in his opening remarks.

Ryu emphasized the need for an economic partnership between the two countries, noting that “the U.S. is Korea’s largest investor and biggest export market, and Korea’s direct investment in the U.S. has greatly contributed to job creation in the U.S.”

According to FKI, Korea’s investment in the U.S. last year amounted to approximately $27.7 billion, accounting for 43.7% of the total foreign direct investment of $633.8 billion attracted by the U.S. during the same period, marking the largest share by a single country.

In particular, Korea’s investment in the U.S. plays a positive role in job creation, making an important contribution to the U.S. economy in terms of quantity and quality.

McCarthy, a leading pro-Korea lawmaker in the U.S., is known for having led Republican support for the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in the past.

He has also worked to strengthen U.S.-Korea relations in terms of both economy and security, co-sponsoring a bill to expand the quota for Korean E-4 professional visas in 2014 and hosting a commemorative event for Korean War veterans on the 60th anniversary of the U.S.-Korea alliance in 2013.

Last year, he invited President Yoon Suk Yeol to give a congressional speech during his state visit to the U.S.

McCarthy has been a critical figure in the Republican Party since becoming a U.S. House of Representatives member in 2006 and serving as the House Minority Leader since 2008. He supported Trump during his candidacy in 2016 and helped him win the election. Known as a “ninth-degree politician” in the U.S. Congress, he has served as the House Speaker since last year. Recently, he has been known to support Trump again in the upcoming election.

Kim Bong Man, head of the International Division, said, “The opportunity to directly convey the opinion of the Korean business community to opinion leaders who can play a major role in the future policy decision-making process in the U.S. at this point, six months ahead of the U.S. election, is very valuable.” He added, “Issues such as the IRA and the expansion of the E-4 visa quota, which are decided in the U.S. Congress, greatly impact the Korean economy, so we will create and utilize more opportunities to share these opinions.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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