SEOUL, Korea, Republic – US President Joe Biden on Sunday addressed business and security concerns as he wrapped up a three-day visit to South Korea, outlining Hyundai’s commitment to invest at least $ 10 billion in United’s electric vehicles and related technology. States
He added that he was not concerned about possible provocations by North Korea during his visit to the region.
“We are ready for whatever North Korea does,” Biden said before visiting US and South Korean troops working together on the peninsula.
Asked if he had a message for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, President Biden gave a brief response.
“Hello, period,” he said.
This is another marked departure from his predecessor, President Donald Trump, who once said that he was “in love” with Kim Jong-un.
Before leaving South Korea for Japan, Mr. Biden appeared with Hyundai CEO Yuseon Chung to highlight the company’s increased investment in the United States, including বৈ 5.5 billion for an electric vehicle and battery plant in Georgia.
“Electric vehicles are good for our climate goals, but they’re also good for work,” Biden said. And they’re good for business. “
Mr Chung has announced that his company will spend an additional 5 billion on artificial intelligence for self-driving vehicles and other technologies.
The large U.S. investment by a South Korean company reflects how countries are turning their long-standing military ties into a larger economic partnership.
Prior to his visit, Mr. Biden visited a computer chip factory operated by Korean electronics giant Samsung, which plans to build a $ 17 billion manufacturing plant in Texas.
Biden has prioritized economic cooperation with South Korea, saying on Saturday that “it will bring our two countries closer together, cooperate more closely than we have already done and help strengthen our supply chain, protect them from shocks and boost our economy.” Competitive edge. “
The epidemic in Ukraine in February and Russia’s aggression have forced a deep review of national security and economic alliances. The coronavirus epidemic has led to shortages of computer chips, automobiles and other products that the Biden administration says could eventually be solved by producing more internally and with trusted allies.
Hyundai’s Georgian plant will employ 8,100 people and is expected to produce 300,000 vehicles a year. Construction is expected to begin early next year, with production starting in 2025.
But the Hyundai factory shows that trade is closed there as well, as Mr Biden moves forward with his economic agenda.
Earlier in his term, the president sought to link the production of electric vehicles to those of automakers. As part of the Senate’s 1.85 trillion spending proposal, Mr. Biden sought additional tax credits from buyers of electric vehicles made by unionized factories.
This will encourage unionized auto plants owned by General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., and Stalantis NV at a critical time when union membership across the country continues to decline.
During a visit to Samsung, President Biden called on Korean companies building factories in the United States to hire unionized workers. In addition to its upcoming plant in Texas, Samsung has reached an agreement with Stellantis to build an electric car battery manufacturing plant in the United States.
So far, there is no guarantee that workers at Hyundai’s Georgia plant will be unionized.