Readout of Ambassador Katherine Tai's Meeting with Korea's Minister of Employment and Labor Lee Jung-Sik

March 30, 2023

SEOUL – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai met today with Korea’s Minister of Employment and Labor, Lee Jung-Sik.  Ambassador Tai is visiting Korea to lead the U.S. delegation to the Indo-Pacific Regional Meeting of the second Summit for Democracy.  

The conversation focused on labor-related issues in the bilateral trade relationship and opportunities for collaboration and continued cooperation.  Ambassador Tai provided an overview of the Biden-Harris Administration’s worker-centered trade policy. She emphasized the need for inclusive discussions with a range of stakeholders and government officials in order to develop equitable policies. 

Ambassador Tai also discussed recent developments related to the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) and expressed the United States’ desire to partner with Korea on a high-standard Trade Pillar with an ambitious labor chapter.

Ambassador Tai and Minister Lee discussed the value of labor ministries participating directly in trade policy and negotiations.  They agreed on the importance of the Labor Affairs Council of the KORUS FTA, including a meeting of the Council held in 2022.  Ambassador Tai expressed her strong interest in deepening bilateral dialogue through the Labor Affairs Council.

Ambassador Tai and Minister Lee agreed to remain in close contact on the IPEF negotiations and on labor-related issues in the bilateral trade relationship.