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The Peninsula

What Happened: Q1 2024

Published April 22, 2024
Author: Tom Ramage
Category: Current Events

US-Korea Deal Flow

Date American Company Korean Company Project Value Amount Location
March 29 N/A Taihan Cable & Solution Power grid replacement deal $82 million Florida
March 27 Google Cloud NCSOFT Partnership to apply AI and cloud computing to game development N/A N/A
March 15 IGNEO, Korea Zinc subsidiary Korea Zinc, LG Chem Korea Zinc and LG Chem MOU to collaborate on resource circulation system for plastic recycling N/A United States
March 12 Unnamed finished automaker POSCO Supply permanent magnets Approx. $676 million

($900 billion won)

North America
March 12 Bear Robotics LG Electronics LG Electronics investment into AI powered indoor delivery robots $60 million Redwood City, California
March 11 State of Arkansas Korea International Trade Association MOU on mutual investment and trade N/A N/A
February 29 Anduril Industries, Forterra Hanwha Aerospace Bid proposal to collaborate on unmanned vehicle project for the US Army N/A N/A
February 29 Amazon Web Services KT Corp Strategic partnership to develop generative AI N/A N/A
February 27 Latus Bio, at least one other company Samsung Samsung investment into gene therapy development N/A Cambridge, Massachusetts
February 27 Amazon Web Services LG U+ AI utilization collaboration agreement N/A N/A
February 27 Humane SK Telecom Partnership for SK Telecom to be exclusive provider for Humane’s Ai Pin in Korea N/A N/A
February 26 Perplexity AI SK Telecom Partnership for SK Telecom to offer Perplexitiy’s AI-based search engine in their services N/A N/A
February 22 Department of Energy, Loan Programs Office SK Ciltron CSS DOE Loan to SK Ciltron to for manufacturing to build high-quality silicon carbide (SiC) wafers for electric vehicle semiconductors $544 million Bay City, Michigan
February 13 Princeton University Samsung Research America Partnership on research and development for 6G technologies N/A Princeton, New Jersey
February 12 Westwater Resources SK On Sourcing natural graphite anode products from Westwater N/A Kellyton, Alabama
February 8 MidOcean (LNG Unit of

EIG Global Equity Partners)

SK Earthon SK Earthon sells $256.5 million 20% stake in Peru LNG Co., LLC $256.5 million Peru
February 7 General Motors LG Chem 10-year deal to supply GM with $19 billion worth of cathode materials $19 billion Tennessee
February 7 Digital Turbine One Store Collaborate on overseas market entry for One Store’s app store business $50 million N/A
February 6 Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (LACMTA) Hyundai Rotem Co. Electric trains $664 million Los Angeles County, California
February 1 Cirba Solutions EcoPro MOU on battery recycling in North America N/A North America
January 31 Bow Capital SK Networks Co. MOU for Bow Capital and US investors to purchase SK Networks Treasury Shares N/A N/A
January 30 Sivoo Furiosa Sivoo to deploy Furiosa’s AI ‘Warboy’ accelerator card for generative AI tasks N/A N/A
January 23 Sion Power LG Energy Solution LG Energy Solution equity investment into Arizona-based lithium metal battery startup $75 million combined funding Tuscon, Arizona
January 16 Solid Power SK On Research and development license, line installation arrangement, electrolyte supply agreement $52 million in combined payments to Solid Power N/A
January 12 N/A LG Electronics EV charger factory producing up to 12,000 chargers a year N/A Fort Worth, Texas
January 5 W.L. Gore & Associates Hyundai Motor/Kia Hydrogen fuel cell materials development N/A N/A
January 5 Rhythm Pharmaceutical LG Chem Global licensing rights to sell anti-obesity drug LB54640 $100 million initially, up to $300 million N/A
January 5 SpaceX LG Starlink satellite service N/A N/A
January 2 Black & Veatch Samsung Heavy Industries Floating Liquified Natural Gas (FLNG) Facility $1.5 billion North America

 

Trade and Diplomacy

March 18-20, 2024 – Secretary of State Antony Blinken attends the Summit for Democracy hosted in Seoul. An address by President Yoon Suk Yeo focused on the role that artificial intelligence will have in affecting global democracy.

March 14, 2024 – Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and US Department of Commerce counterparts hold the US-Korea Supply Chain and Commercial Dialogue Healthcare Working Group videoconference.

March 13, 2024 – Korea hosts the inaugural US-Korea-India Trilateral Technology Dialogue in Seoul attended by US National Security Council Senior Director Tarun Chhabra, US State Department Special Envoy for Critical and Emerging Technology Seth Center, Korea’s Deputy National Security Advisor Wang Yunjong, and Joint Secretary of India’s National Security Council Secretariat Lekhan Thakkar.

March 12-15, 2024 – Trade Minister Inkyo Cheong visits Washington, DC for talks with US government partners, including counterpart USTR Katherine Tai for the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement Joint Committee Meeting.

March 11-12, 2024 – Director General for International Finance Shin Joong-beom visits New York City to hold meetings with foreign investors and international financial institutions in light of recent capital market reforms in Korea.

March 11, 2024 – Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders visits Korea; meeting President Yoon Suk Yeol and KITA President Yoon Jin-sik. While attending the US-Korea Economic Council general meeting she signed an MOU between the state of Arkansas and KITA.

March 5, 2024 – Linda Specht of the US State Department and Lee Tae-woo of Korea’s Foreign Ministry are selected by each country’s governments as the negotiators for the next defense cost-sharing “Special Measures Agreement” (SMA), in light of the current one expiring in 2025.

March 5, 2024 – Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) President and CEO John Neuffer visits Korea and meets with Deputy Trade Minister Yang Byeong-Nae to discuss US-Korea chip cooperation.

March 4, 2024 – Korea Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Kang Insun and MOTIE Resources Industry Policy Director General Yoo Beob-min attend the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) Chief Delegates meeting in Toronto, chaired by US Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose Fernandez.

March 3, 2024 – Deputy Prime Minister Choi Sang-mok holds bilateral discussions with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen as well as International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on the sidelines of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Sao Paulo, Brazil. At the meeting, 2024 G7 Chair Minister of Economy and Finance for Italy Giancarlo Giorgetti invites Korea to participate in the G7 Finance Ministers meeting in Italy in May.

February 27-29, 2024 – Mark Zuckerberg visits Korea and meets with President Yoon Suk Yeol as well as Korean technology leaders. Meetings include discussions with Samsung Chairman Jay Y. Lee on artificial intelligence and LG Electronics CEO Cho Joo-wan for cooperation on an extended reality (XR) headset.

February 27, 2024 – Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Criminal Enforcement at the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division Manish Kumar meets with Korea’s Fair Trade Commission Vice Chair Cho Hong-sun in Seoul to discuss bilateral cooperation on antitrust principles.

February 27, 2024 – Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Dukgeun Ahn holds telephone conversation with US counterpart Gina Raimondo to discuss Inflation Reduction Act and CHIPS Act subsidies as well as other issues.

February 26-29, 2024 – Trade Minister Inkyo Cheong attends the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi, UAE and among other leaders holds bilateral discussions with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai as well as WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

February 27, 2024 – While visiting Korea, US Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro meets with leaders from HD Hyundai and Hanwha Ocean to discuss maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) collaboration and opportunities for Korean shipbuilders to invest in US-based shipbuilding production.

February 26, 2024 – Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) releases details of its “Corporate Value-up” program to boost domestic stocks.

February 23-28, 2024 – Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul visits the United States. While there, he attends meetings in Washington, DC with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard and also meets with representatives from Google, Pfizer, and Citibank.

February 22, 2024 – US Embassy Tokyo hosts a US-Korea-Japan Commerce and Industry Export Controls Principals meeting pursuant to the Commerce and Industry Ministerial Initiative from the August Camp David Summit. Attending representatives were US Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration Thea D. Rozman Kendler, Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy Director General for Trade Control Policy Kamchan Kang, and Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry Director-General Katsuro Igari.

February 22, 2024 – Foreign Affairs Minister Cho Tae-yul attends G20 Foreign Ministers meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

February 20, 2024 – Representing Korea, Minister of Economy and Finance (MOEF)’s Director-General for International Tax Jung Byung-sik is appointed as Vice-Chair of the United Nation’s ad-hoc Intergovernmental Committee for International Tax Cooperation.

February 7, 2024 – Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, visits Seoul to individually meet with leaders of LG Energy Solution and Samsung SDI for discussions focused on battery cooperation.

January 31-February 2, 2024 – US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose Fernandez travels to Seoul. While in Korea he meets with Second Vice Industry Minister Choi Nam-ho to discuss cooperation on critical minerals and renewable energy and has additional meetings with Hyundai Motor, Samsung Electronics, Hanwha Q Cells, SK Group, and POSCO Future M.

January 30, 2024 – The International Monetary Fund releases it’s 2024 World Economic Outlook which projects Korea’s annual real GDP growth to be 2.3 percent for both 2024 and 2025.

January 30, 2024 – Ambassador Philip Goldberg meets with Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul in Seoul to discuss the US-Korea alliance and trilateral cooperation with Japan.

January 25, 2024 – OpenAI CEO Sam Altman visits Korea where he inspects Samsung Electronics’ Pyeongtaek production facility and meets with leaders from Samsung, SK Hynix, and SK Group.

January 18, 2024 – National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Director of National Security for Korea Hojin Chang, and Japanese National Security Advisor Akiba Takeo issue statement on the signing of a trilateral quantum partnership between the University of Chicago, Seoul National University, and the University of Tokyo.

January 18, 2024 – US based battery manufacturing company Solid Power Chief Operating Officer (COO) Derek Johnson meets with Deputy Minister for Trade Yang Byeong-nae in Seoul to discuss cooperation on battery technology.

January 15-19, 2024 – Prime Minister Han Duck-soo attends the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland where he participated in panels relating to energy and artificial intelligence and had meetings with international companies. Also in attendance were Hanwha Group Vice Chairman Kim Dong-kwan and HD Hyundai CEO Chung Ki-sun.

January 10, 2024 – Cheong In-kyo is named as Korea’s new Trade Minister to replace Ahn Duk-geun as he becomes new head of Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

January 9, 2024 – Korean Presidential cabinet approves legal revision allowing the National Security Office (NSO) to create a new Deputy Director position tasked with economic security.

January 5, 2024 – The US Department of Commerce announces findings that imports of tin from certain steel producers in Korea as well as Canada, China, and Germany are unfairly priced in the United States relative to their prices at home. Subsequent finding from US International Trade Commission on February 6 determines that the imports from Korea sold at less than fair value are negligible, and subsequently votes to terminate antidumping investigation.

January 4, 2024 – The inaugural Trilateral United States-Republic of Korea-Japan Indo-Pacific Dialogue led by Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink, RoK Deputy Minister Chung Byung-won, and Japanese Deputy Minister/Director-General Kobe Yasuhiro is held in Washington, D.C as follow-up to commitments from the Camp David Summit in August 2023.

January 1, 2024 – Korea implements a 15 percent minimum corporate tax to align with the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) 2.0 Pillar agreed to among 137 nations in 2021. The law was announced by the Deputy Prime Minister of Strategy and Finance on November 9, 2023 for its enforcement beginning January 1, 2024.

 

Tom Ramage is an Economic Policy Analyst at the Korea Economic Institute of America. The views expressed here are the author’s alone.

Photo from Shutterstock.

KEI is registered under the FARA as an agent of the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, a public corporation established by the government of the Republic of Korea. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.

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