Mar 12, 2024 - News

Arkansas Gov. Sanders signals potential trade with South Korea

Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders with Jin Roy Ryu, CEO of Poongsan Group, a metal manufacturer on March 8, 2024.

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is greeted Friday by Jin Roy Ryu, CEO of Poongsan Group, a Korean metal manufacturer. Photo: Judd Deere/Gov. Sanders' administration

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed an agreement to share mutually beneficial information with two Korean trade organizations on Monday, according to a news release.

The big picture: The agreement notes the possibility of developing business ties between Korean and Arkansas companies in response to growing global demand for lithium used in EV batteries, as well as the importance of both locations' agricultural industries.

Monday's agreement was with the Korean International Trade Association and the Korea-U.S. Economic Council.

  • The governor signed a similar agreement with the mayor of Hanam on Friday.

Context: Sanders, Commerce Secretary Hugh McDonald, Economic Development Commissioner Clint O'Neal and others left for Korea and Japan last week with the aim of fostering investment in the state.

  • The delegation returns Wednesday.

What they're saying: "My hope is that with this trip, that partnership will only get stronger," Sanders said in remarks to trade groups Monday.

The bottom line: Arkansas exports more than $100 million in products to South Korea each year, the governor said.

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