Ex-U.S. Speaker McCarthy meets with S. Korean business leaders

Former U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy met with South Korean business leaders on Thursday to exchange views on economic and trade issues between the two countries months before the upcoming U.S. presidential election, a local business lobby said. McCarthy had a breakfast meeting in Seoul with some 20 Korean businesspeople, including representatives from Hyundai Motor Co., SK Group, LG Group and Hanwha Group, arranged by the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI). During the event, the participants discussed ways to enhance bilateral economic ties and shared views on issues like Korea's investment in and exports to the world's largest economy, according to the FKI. Rep. McCarthy is known for his supportive stance toward South Korea, having played a role in the conclusion of the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement in the early 2010s. He supported former President Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election and now serves as a key figure in Trump's 2024 campaign. McCarthy is considered a strong candidate for Trump's chief of staff if Trump wins the election. "There is an urgent need for deep dialogue between the Korean business community and U.S. opinion leaders ahead of the U.S. presidential election," FKI Chairman Ryu Jin said in his opening remarks. "The United States is Korea's largest investor and largest export destination, while Korea's direct investment into the U.S. has contributed significantly to job creation in the U.S."