It will be Ossoff’s third visit to South Korea since he was elected to the Senate in 2021, and he played a role in mediating a trade dispute involving SK Battery Plant in Commerce and sponsoring legislation to spur solar plant projects in north Georgia.
Georgia for the past three years has announced record-breaking levels of corporate investment fueled partly by billions of dollars from Korean companies like SK Battery and Hyundai Motor Group, which is building a $7.6 billion plant in coastal Georgia. Gov. Brian Kemp recently accepted an award from a South Korean diplomatic group honoring the close ties between the two governments.
Ossoff’s office said he plans to “champion Georgia as a destination for global investment” along with high-level meetings in the region to “advance U.S. national security interests and Georgia’s economic interests.”
The Democrat plans to urge closer security and economic ties between the U.S., Japan and South Korea during those stops. In China, he is expected to raise objections to China’s role in the flow of fentanyl to the U.S. Authorities say the synthetic opioid is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans.
The China leg comes amid increasing tensions with the world’s second-biggest economy. Senate leaders have pressed President Joe Biden’s administration to take a more aggressive stance with China, which is forging an emerging alliance with Iran and Russia.
Schumer rarely leads congressional delegations, and his decision to take on this trip is a signal of the strategic value of the mission. Officials say the senators also aim to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping during the stop.