Washington, D.C. – This evening, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) will join members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S.-Korea Business Council, and Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry to welcome South Korean President Moon to the United States. Text of Chairman Royce’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, follows:

“Good evening Your Excellency, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

On behalf of the House of Representatives, it is my distinct honor and pleasure to welcome President Moon Jae-in to the United States of America.

As Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I have long said that there are few relationships more consequential or economically important than the strategic alliance between the U.S. and South Korea.  Ours is a bond that 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.  Korea has blossomed so much that economic prosperity is now synonymous with the Korean nation.

When it comes to our economic relationship, the KORUS Free Trade Agreement is contributing significantly to job creation in the United States.  There is no better example of this than in the congressional district that I am honored to represent.

CJ Foods, which is a subsidiary of Korea’s CJ Group, makes delicious dumplings at an advanced facility in Fullerton, California.  These “mandu” are some of the best, and I know, because I’ve eaten many over the years!

The story of CJ in Fullerton is the story of KORUS.

CJ began operations in Fullerton a few months after KORUS was implemented with 70 employees operating one line of production.  Three years later, the company has grown organically to over 270 employees operating three production lines, 24-hours per day!

Of course, CJ’s success is attributed to outstanding products; however, it was the framework agreement of KORUS that allowed CJ to setup shop in Fullerton and hire Americans.  The economic impact of CJ on the U.S. economy cannot be denied.  CJ sources vegetables from Southern California and protein from the Midwest.  CJ products meet stringent standards established by well-known retailers such as Costco and Whole Foods.  In turn, many of its dumplings are now exported all over the world to customers in Latin America, Australia, and even Asia.

In the 21st century global economy, economic prosperity, competitiveness, and jobs are inextricably linked.  As one of the first supporters of KORUS FTA, I am proud of the positive impact that our economic alliance is having on the people of Southern California, and I know that stories like these abound in local communities all over the United States.

President Moon Jae-in has a distinguished history of public service on behalf of the Korean nation; he is well-known for championing democracy and human rights.  In 1976, then-soldier Moon participated in Operation Paul Bunyan in response to North Korea’s brutality.  Elected earlier this year, President Moon is no stranger to executive leadership and international affairs, having served previously in the Roh Administration. 

Mister President, as you embark on this important visit, please know that we stand side by side with you and the Korean people for a safer and more prosperous tomorrow.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome President Moon.”