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South Korea’s Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun asked Friday for U.S. lawmakers’ support for the passage of a key semiconductor bill as it is expected to help boost South Korean firms’ business activities in the U.S. and bilateral trade, his office said.

During a meeting with the delegation of the U.S. Congressional Study Group on Korea (CSGK) in Seoul, Ahn asked for its backing for the CHIPS Act, which calls for a US$52 billion package of incentives and subsidies to chip manufacturing in the U.S.

He also asked for their attention to the passage of the Partnering with Korea Act, which is meant to issue up to 15,000 visas per year for highly skilled South Korean professionals with “specialty occupations,” according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

“The bills are expected to create circumstances favorable to South Korean firms doing business in the U.S.,” Ahn told the bipartisan study group on South Korea.

The two sides also discussed efforts by Seoul and Washington to boost trade and investment, and to ensure stable supply chains through the bilateral free trade agreement and the U.S.-led new economic framework of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), among other things, the ministry said.

“Ahn and the CSGK delegation shared the need for their coordinated role to respond to multiple global crises and vowed continued cooperation,” the ministry said in a release.

Eight CSGK members visited South Korea, including U.S. House of Representatives Ami Bera and Young Kim. The study group was launched in 2018 as part of diplomatic efforts to deepen ties between Seoul and Washington, and currently consists of 55 U.S. representatives.

Yonhap News Agency

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