Chairman Royce and Korean International Trade Association Chairman Kim In-Ho.

Seoul, South Korea – Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and a bipartisan congressional delegation met with key Korean business leaders, many of whom are leading ventures that are incredibly successful in the United States.  Following the meetings, Chairman Royce issued this statement: 
“The U.S.-Korea bond has grown over the past 65 years, and today, we celebrate a close friendship that is borne on the shoulders of the hardworking people of our two nations.  Strong U.S.-South Korean relations are critical as we face shared challenges and opportunities in the region.
“That is why the U.S.-South Korea economic relationship is incredibly important.  During my meetings, I stressed my support for the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.  My district is directly benefiting from this agreement.  For example, CJ Foods, a subsidiary of Korea’s CJ Group, has created hundreds of American jobs since they began their operations after the implementation of KORUS.  And today they announced they will invest approximately $5 million next year – expanding their food manufacturing operations in Fullerton, California, which will lead to an estimated 30 new American jobs.  Within two years, their investment of approximately $90 million to construct a ready-meal manufacturing plant in Southern California will lead to an estimated 200 new jobs.
“The success story of CJ Foods is the story of KORUS.  But there is more that can be done to reduce trade barriers, increase investment and strengthen this agreement.  Working with one of our greatest trading partners, I look forward to helping create more jobs and opportunities for Americans and Koreans.”
Chairman Royce met with: 

• Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha
• Korean National Assembly Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee Shim Jae-Kwon and representatives from various political parties
• CJ Group Chairman Sohn Kyung-Shik
• SPC Group Chairman Hur Young-in, who also announced plans to create thousands of U.S. jobs by 2020
• KITA Chairman Kim In-Ho
• Chairman and CEO of AmCham Korea James Kim

Yesterday, Chairman Royce and the bipartisan congressional delegation met with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in to discuss issues including North Korea’s nuclear program.    

The delegation also traveled to Namsan Park to visit a Comfort Women memorial to remember and pay respects to the hundreds of thousands of women, mainly from Korea, who were forced into sexual slavery by Imperial Japan during World War II.