May 24, 2022

Ramona du Houx

President Joe Biden will return from his visit to the Indo-Pacific region with stronger international climate pledges from allies and the promise of a new battery plant for electric vehicles in Georgia.

His Indo-Pacific Economic Framework is designed to signal U.S. dedication to the region and address the need for stability in commerce after disruptions caused by the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Nations in the pact are: America, Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Together they represent 40 percent of world GDP.

The Nations agreed that for a clean economy they will, ” Seek first-of-their-kind commitments on clean energy, decarbonization, and infrastructure that promote good-paying jobs. We will pursue concrete, high-ambition targets that will accelerate efforts to tackle the climate crisis, including in the areas of renewable energy, carbon removal, energy efficiency standards, and new measures to combat methane emissions.”

Biden used his trip to sign a series of climate and clean energy agreements with the leaders of Japan, Australia and South Korea.

He also announced that Korean car giant Hyundai had agreed to invest $5.5 billion to build a battery and electric vehicle plant outside Savannah, Ga.

.Electric vehicles are good for our climate goals, but they’re also good for jobs,” said Pres. Biden while in South Korea on Sunday. “And they’re good for business.’”

During his first stop on his trip, President Biden and the President of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Yoon Suk Yeol toured the Samsung Electronics Pyeongtaek Campus – a model for the new Samsung plant being built in Taylor, Texas. The new plant there will create 3,000 good-paying jobs and build semi conductors.

The tour demonstrated how our alliances deliver for the American middle class, investing in manufacturing in the United States, creating good paying jobs and strengthening our supply chains. The United States and the Republic of Korea are among each other’s largest trading and investment partners, with more than $62 billion of foreign direct investment by Korean firms in the United States as of 2020 – supporting over 94,000 American and bringing our governments, businesses, and people closer together.   

At the plant, President Biden made the case for quickly passing the Bipartisan Innovation Act which will deliver historic federal investments in U.S. research and development, supply chains, and domestic manufacturing – including funding for the CHIPS Act to provide $52 billion to catalyze more private-sector investments and advance American technological leadership.

“So much of the future of the world is going to be written here, in the Indo Pacific, over the next several decades,” said Pres. Biden. “This is the moment, in my view, to invest in one another to deepen our business ties, to bring our people even closer together.”

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