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AEI urges Tokyo to lift export prohibitions on Seoul

Posted July. 26, 2019 07:39,   

Updated July. 26, 2019 07:39


The American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a conservative thinktank, urged the Japanese government to scrap regulations against South Korea, pointing out that the conflict between South Korea and Japan caused by the export prohibition policy by Tokyo is only serving Chinese interests. The AEI claimed that the U.S. government must step up to resolve the conflicts by arranging summit meetings between Seoul and Tokyo, saying the potential dominance by Huawei in global 5G market is inimical to American interests.

Claude Barfield, an AEI researcher and a former USTR advisor, presented an article titled “Japan back off on Korea: Samsung and Hynix are not Huawei,” where he said, “The point is not to take sides on the tortured history of Korea-Japan relations, but Japan has chosen a dangerous and destructive mode of retaliation.” He expressed concerns that Japan is cutting off Korean companies’ access to vital elements, and it will likely lead to disrupting “global electronic supply chains and bolstering China’s push for 5G wireless dominance.”

“The U.S. has mounted a worldwide campaign to keep companies and nations from including Huawei backbone equipment in their 5G rollouts,” said Barfield, claiming that it is “not clear if Huawei’s two current competitors, Sweden’s Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia, will be able to match Huawei’s prodigious resources.” The former USTR advisor stressed that Samsung could develop into a “potent third option,” adding any actions by U.S. allies that could “jeopardize such an option” should be forcefully opposed.

While there has been talk of appointing a special mediator or taking the issue to the World Trade Organization, Barfield said it is imperative that Abe be persuaded to suspend the export prohibition to resolve the current predicament between Korea and Japan. The AEI researcher further emphasized that crippling alliance partners in the crucial competition with Beijing is unacceptable.

Bo-Mi Im bom@donga.com