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Joint Statement: Japan-Republic of Korea-United States Commerce and Industry Ministerial Meeting


We, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo; Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Saito Ken; and Republic of Korea (ROK) Minister of Trade, Industry, and Energy Ahn Duk-geun met in Washington today for the inaugural meeting of Commerce and Industry Ministers. United by the vision established by our three leaders at their historic Trilateral Summit at Camp David on August 18, 2023, we resolve to focus our joint efforts on a set of strategic areas designed to enhance the security and prosperity of our people and the Indo-Pacific region.

Our shared intent is to leverage this trilateral mechanism to promote the development of critical and emerging technologies and strengthen the security and resiliency of our economies. Recognizing these two goals are intertwined, we aim to prioritize cooperation to strengthen the resilience of supply chains in key sectors, including semiconductors and batteries; and to promote the Principles on Resilient and Reliable Supply Chains, namely, transparency, diversification, security, sustainability, and trustworthiness and reliability. Together, we seek to deepen our coordination of export controls on advanced technologies; enhance private sector partnerships for collaborative research and innovation related to advanced industrial technologies; advance efforts to develop international standards and ensure safe, secure, and trustworthy use of artificial intelligence (AI); expand collaboration on critical and emerging technologies and on critical minerals; work together to strengthen economic security; and support long-term economic cooperation among the partners to support operationalizing the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF). 

As part of these efforts, there is an urgency to our three sides working closely together to identify potential supply chain vulnerabilities for strategic goods that have resulted from a wide range of non-market policies and practices. We share concerns over the weaponization of economic dependencies on certain supply sources for strategic goods. To address the resulting, systemic vulnerabilities stemming from such dependencies, we intend to promote a level playing field through more closely coordinated efforts – including working together, and with other partners, on relevant criteria that take into account not only economic factors, but also factors linked to the Principles on Resilient and Reliable Supply Chains.   

Semiconductors: We reaffirm our recognition of the essential role that semiconductors play in a wide range of industries and applications important to the growth of our economies and preservation of our national security. We note our shared interest in building resilient semiconductor supply chains and aim to accelerate cooperation to achieve this goal.

Clean Energy: Recognizing the need to reduce the carbon intensity and overall greenhouse gas emissions of our respective economies, we reaffirm the importance of trilateral cooperation to strengthen global battery supply chains. In addition, we concur that clean/zero emission and low-carbon hydrogen and its derivatives, such as clean ammonia, will play an essential role in the decarbonization of a wide variety of sectors. Towards that end, we intend to cooperate to promote the development of secure and resilient global supply chains for clean/zero emission and low-carbon hydrogen and its derivatives, including the consideration of their carbon intensity, and to explore how the three ministries that we lead can enhance cooperation on low- and/or carbon-free energy emissions technologies, including clean/zero emission and low-carbon hydrogen and its derivatives.

Critical Minerals: We further reaffirm the importance of increasing the availability of critical minerals and resilience of the supply chains, including through enhanced processing and refining capabilities, which is a crucial step in the clean energy transition. We plan to further efforts by our governments and private sectors to promote and encourage the development of Rare Earth Element (REE) technologies, including REE extraction and separation, and to work to establish stable supply chains for REEs and permanent magnets. We share concerns over recent non-market measures we have witnessed, which may lead to unreasonable and significant supply chain disruptions for critical minerals that include gallium, germanium, and graphite, and we are determined to take appropriate actions where necessary to secure sustainable and resilient global supply chains.

Export Controls: We appreciate the transformative role that critical and emerging technologies will play in expanding our economies and reshaping the competitive and strategic landscape. Our three countries have an inherent interest in promoting the responsible use of such technologies, while denying technological advances to those who may utilize them to threaten global peace and security and undermine human rights. We note the progress being made through the U.S.-Japan-ROK Disruptive Technology Protection Network (DTPN), and we welcome its high-level meeting in Washington on April 25, which resulted in the signing of two memoranda of intent to enhance cooperation and information sharing to combat illicit technology transfer, and to further align on enforcement of export controls. We also welcome the success of the 30th Asian Export Control Seminar, hosted by Japan in February in cooperation with the United States and ROK, which advanced strategic trade control systems across Asia. We applaud the February convening of export control principals from our three countries to discuss further alignment of export control policies and enhancement of our ability to effectively collaborate on shared priorities. The principals agreed to cooperate on controls for critical and emerging technologies, further align on Russia controls, and collaborate on outreach to countries in Southeast Asia.

AI: We are aligned on the need to enhance cooperation in promoting the responsible use of AI by our private sectors, and to deepen discussions on establishing interoperable standards, methods, and evaluations for AI safety. We welcome the important work being undertaken by the U.S. and Japanese AI Safety Institutes, and we aim to explore ways to initiate collaborative research and innovation among our private sectors for AI.

Cybersecurity: We are aware of, and understand the importance that effective cybersecurity plays in our economic security and for the protection of critical infrastructure, systems, and data, and we commend the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for its recent release of its Cybersecurity Framework 2.0.

Standards: We recognize that technical standards will play an increasingly crucial role in promoting interoperability, competitiveness, inclusivity, and innovation in strategic technologies and sectors of our economies. We concur on the importance of continuing to work together to utilize existing cooperation frameworks and advance international standardization efforts.

IPEF: We welcome the progress made at the June IPEF Ministerial meeting and related events in Singapore, including the signing of the IPEF Clean Economy Agreement, Fair Economy Agreement, overarching Agreement on IPEF, and entry into force of the Supply Chain Agreement at the end of February. We reaffirm our commitment to working together and with the other IPEF partners to deliver tangible benefits to the IPEF partners’ economies, citizens, and the private sector under these agreements. In addition, we welcome the outcomes of the inaugural Clean Economy Investor Forum, a landmark event that helped facilitate private investment in the Indo-Pacific region and a clear demonstration of the innovative approaches in which IPEF partners and the private sector can collaborate. We also reaffirm our commitment to the IPEF Clean Economy Agreement, including through the launch among participating IPEF partners of the Cooperative Work Programs on hydrogen, clean electricity, carbon markets, just transition, sustainable aviation fuel, embedded intensity accounting, e-waste urban mining, and small modular reactors.

NEXT STEPS: We pledge to support investment into one another’s economies and commercial engagements to the benefit of our economies, private sectors, workers, and communities. Looking ahead, we intend to meet annually at the Ministerial level and to charge our teams to engage between meetings to advance progress in the areas identified for collaboration.