Janet Yellen, US Finance Minister, is visiting South Korea. As she announced, the US wants to break its “excessive dependence” on imports from China, so it is to strive for deepening trade relations with Korea.
United States want to break “over-dependence” on imports of rare earth metals, solar panels and other key commodities from China to prevent Beijing from suspending supplies, as it has done to other buyers, said Janet Yellen, US Finance Minister United, who arrived in Seoul on Monday evening.
The US finance minister added in an interview with Reuters that he is seeking to deepen trade ties with South Korea and other allies to increase the resilience of supply chains and prevent possible manipulation by geopolitical rivals.
According to the announcements of the US Ministry of Finance, Yellen will deliver a speech in Seoul, in which she will call for deepening trade relations with allies, strengthening supply chains, and fighting inflation and thwarting “unfair commercial practices” China and their efforts to dominate the raw materials and technology markets.
“We cannot allow countries like China to use their market position in critical raw materials, technology or products to disrupt our economy and exert unwanted geopolitical pressure,” Yellen said. Excerpts from the speech were published in advance by her ministry.
Instead of allowing China to dominate, the speech said, the US and its allies such as South Koreathey should use “friend-shoring”, ie cooperation with countries sharing the same values and standards, and diversify supply chains to rely more on trusted trading partners and reduce risk.
Impact of the pandemic and invasion of Russia
Pandemic COVID-19 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have clearly demonstrated the need to tackle weaknesses in supply chains and tackle the bottlenecks and shortages that have driven prices up worldwide, said Yellen, who ends her 11-day Indo-Pacific tour in South Korea.
Reuters stresses that Western countries have been trying to reduce their over-reliance on China as the main supplier of goods and raw materials since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which revealed the fragility of global supply chains and the shortage of production capacity in key sectors in each country.
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