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Doug Strub
Assistant Director
Center for Innovation, Trade, and Strategy

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Addressing Challenges in Semiconductor Supply Chains

Korea’s Role and Prospects for U.S.-Korea Cooperation


The ongoing chip shortage has raised global awareness of the numerous risks to the stability of global semiconductor supply chains, which are ultimately all linked to the limited number of suppliers of high-end chips and critical manufacturing equipment. To address these concerns, the United States and likeminded partners have considered a number of measures, including projects to map semiconductor supply chains and understand critical vulnerabilities, potential investments into additional and diversified manufacturing capabilities, and policies to promote continued innovation leadership in the sector. On many of these issues, the positions of the United States and South Korea are closely aligned—both have announced major investments in domestic manufacturing, and South Korea represents a critical source for many high-end chips. However, active U.S.-Korea efforts to leverage this alignment into joint policy actions have been limited.

This virtual event on November 18, 2021, featured a panel discussion with experts on the semiconductor industry, Korea’s tech industry and economy, and supply chain resilience. The participants explored prospects for strengthening U.S.-Korea cooperation on semiconductor supply chains, including both immediate steps the two countries can take to help mitigate chip shortages and long-term efforts to promote resilient and secure semiconductor supply chains.

To ensure an open and robust discussion, this was a private, invitation-only, off-the-record event. We welcomed and encouraged audience participation.

Agenda


WELCOME REMARKS

Michael Wills, Executive Vice President, National Bureau of Asian Research


OPENING REMARKS

Hyon-sang Ahn, Deputy Consul General, Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Seattle


PANEL DISCUSSION

Dan Kim, Chief Economist, SK Hynix

Stephen Ezell, Vice President, Global Innovation Policy, ITIF

Tami Overby, Senior Director, McLarty Associates


AUDIENCE Q&A

CLOSING REMARKS

Michael Wills, Executive Vice President, National Bureau of Asian Research

Speaker Bios

Stephen Ezell is Vice President, global innovation policy, at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). He focuses on science and technology policy, international competitiveness, trade, manufacturing, and services issues. He is the coauthor of Innovating in a Service-Driven Economy: Insights, Application, and Practice (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) and Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage (Yale, 2012). Previously, Ezell co-founded Peer Insight, an innovation research and consulting firm, and two successful innovation ventures—the high-tech services firm Brivo Systems, and Lynx Capital, a boutique investment bank.

Dan Kim is Vice President and Senior Economist as SK Hynix. Previously, Kim spent five years working at the U.S. International Trade Commission, where he directed and reviewed research and analysis for the Office of Industries and coordinated and led Section 337 public interest analysis as Senior International Economist. He has also worked as Director of Economic Strategy at Qualcomm and Senior Economist at the Korea International Trade Association. He received a PhD in international and political economics from Cambridge University.

Tami Overby is a Senior Director at McClarty Associates. She has three decades of experience working in Asia, including 21 years living and working in Seoul. Her most recent experience includes eight years leading the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Asia team, while also serving as President of the U.S. Korea Business Council. Overby attended many of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiating rounds, and oversaw the U.S. Coalition for TPP. During her 14-year tenure as President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea, she actively supported efforts toward a bilateral trade agreement that resulted in the successful completion of the U.S. Korea Free Trade Agreement.


Banner image: Seokyong Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images