U.S., South Korean business groups urge trade, 5G cooperation between their governments

FILE PHOTO: American and South Korean flags at Yongin South Korea
FILE PHOTO: The South Korean and American flags fly next to each other at Yongin, South Korea, August 23, 2016. Picture taken on August 23, 2016. Courtesy Ken Scar/U.S. Army/Handout via REUTERS

November 18, 2020

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. and South Korean business groups on Wednesday called for the United States to eliminate President Donald Trump’s national security tariffs on steel, aluminum and other products, while promoting a global rules-based trading system and cooperating on 5G mobile and other technologies.

A joint statement, issued by the U.S.-Korea Business Council and the Federation of Korean Industries after an annual conference, said the groups urged the two governments to cooperate in developing 5G mobile networks, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies along with their broader digital economies.

The two business councils, whose conference was organized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the regulatory approaches to emerging technologies should be coordinated and 5G should be deployed to promote industry leadership in standards, intellectual property and patents.

“We share the view that there is no place for untrusted, high-risk vendors in any part of 5G networks,” they said, also calling for their governments to work with other allies and partners to foster trust and improve security.

Their statement did not specifically mention Chinese telecom equipment vendors such as Huawei, which the Trump administration has sought to ban from the 5G networks of the United States and its allies.

On the coronavirus pandemic, the councils said their governments should work with the private sector to strengthen and diversify supply chains to deal with any future crises and to incorporate digital technologies into mitigation and containment strategies.

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Howard Goller)