Skip to content

Smith Leads Bipartisan Delegation to South Korea to Discuss Economic Relationship, Supply Chains, and Countering China

August 01, 2023

SEOUL, KOREA – House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) led a bipartisan delegation of House members to Seoul, Korea where they participated in bilateral meetings held by South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and other prominent Korean government officials focused on U.S.-Korea economic relations.

Chairman Smith discussed the U.S.–Korea free trade agreement (KORUS), America’s second largest trade agreement behind the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and shared his support for maintaining an open dialogue between the two nations about ways to address bilateral trade challenges, with a focus on promoting supply chain resilience and reducing economic dependence on China. The delegation also discussed the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) negotiations that the Biden Administration currently is conducting with Korea and twelve other economies in the Indo-Pacific region. Chairman Smith expressed his support for U.S. engagement in the Indo-Pacific region but emphasized that lawful trade agreements must have the support of Congress and cannot be unilaterally negotiated by the White House.

Chairman Smith acknowledged that South Korea has delayed implementation of an undertaxed profits rule (UTPR) by one year, part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) global tax scheme that the Biden Administration has been negotiating absent the Constitutionally-required input from the U.S. Congress, but also emphasized that foreign countries should never implement tax policies that would seek to unfairly collect revenue from U.S. operations of U.S. companies and workers.

After the delegation’s meetings with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and cabinet ministers, Chairman Smith released the following statement:

“I want to thank President Yoon Suk Yeol for hosting this important dialogue between our countries. Korea is among our oldest and most valued partners, and we look forward to strengthening our bilateral relationship for many years to come, including in ways that improve this partnership to strengthen supply chains and reduce economic dependence on China.

“While I appreciate Korea’s decision to delay implementation of the UTPR by one year, I also made it clear during our meetings that the U.S. Congress will not tolerate foreign taxes on U.S. operations of U.S. businesses because such taxes violate our sovereignty and harm American workers. We also broadly discussed the importance of American leadership in the Indo-Pacific region. I am continuing to monitor the ongoing IPEF negotiations to evaluate whether this initiative will be meaningful for American farmers, workers, and small businesses. Enduring and successful trade policy between the U.S. and South Korea must include input and support from both the Executive Branch and Congress, which is why this engagement was so critically important. The United States will always be a steadfast ally of Korea, and we look forward to a durable and mutually beneficial continued partnership between our nations.”

Members of the bipartisan delegation include:

  • Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO)
  • Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC)
  • Rep. Michelle Steel (R-CA)
  • Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY)
  • Rep. Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-American Samoa)
  • Rep. Nathanial Moran (R-TX)
  • Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY)
  • Rep. Morgan McGarvey (D-KY)