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Samsung’s Lee Jae-yong visits the US

Posted November. 22, 2021 07:21,   

Updated November. 22, 2021 07:21


Vice chairman Lee Jae-yong of Samsung Electronics has visited the White House and Capitol Hill during his one-week trip to the U.S. to discuss investment and global supply chain issues. The company’s new foundry investment of 20 trillion won will also be announced this week.

According to Samsung Electronics on Sunday, Lee met with leading U.S. politicians in Washington, D.C. on Thursday and Friday (local time) after leaving for the U.S. last Sunday. Earlier, he also met with executives of Moderna and Verizon. On November 18, Lee met with members of the U.S. Congress responsible for laws on supporting semiconductor investment to request support to pass related laws. An official who attended the meeting said that candidate sites for the foundry will be trimmed down and officially announced this week.

Lee also met with senior officials of the White House on Friday to discuss on the global issue of semiconductor supply chain issues and federal incentives for semiconductor companies. It is an exceptional occasion for the White House to individually invite a foreign company executive to discuss with key officials. The U.S. Commerce Department requested materials on supply chain at 79 global companies to review the global semiconductor supply chain disruption issue, to which Samsung has submitted data and awaiting follow-up measures. Samsung has not disclosed the participants of the meeting.

After completing visits in the East, Lee went to Washington State to visit Microsoft, Amazon, and other leading IT companies. He met with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to discuss on opportunities for collaboration and expanding software ecosystem on leading next generation technology including, virtual reality, augmented reality and metaverse issues in addition to semiconductors and mobile business. With Amazon, he discussed on ways to expand technology cooperation in AI and cloud computing.  

According to Samsung Electronics, Lee’s U.S. visit was made in five years and four months since attending the Sun Valley Conference, a confidential gathering of global entrepreneurs, in July 2016. “Lee’s meeting with leading entrepreneurs and politicians to discuss global supply chain issues and to promote relations with the U.S. raised his profile as a global leader,” commented a business source.

Do-Young Kwak now@donga.com