US Secretary of the Navy Invites Korea's Shipbuilders to invest in America

During a recent trip to South Korea, US Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro met with country’s major shipbuilders HD Hyundai and Hanwha and toured some of the world’s most technologically advanced and prolific shipyards.

Discussions were very productive and centered on attracting Korean investment in integrated commercial and naval shipbuilding facilities in the US, according to statement from US navy.

Specifically, Carlos Del Toro announced his objective to “attract the most advanced shipbuilders in the world to open U.S.-owned subsidiaries and invest in commercial shipyards in the U.S.”

Shortly after arriving in Seoul on February 25, Del Toro engaged separately with Hanwha vice chairman and chief executive Dong Kwan Kim and HD Hyundai vice chairman and chief executive Kisun Chung. 

The morning of Tuesday, February 27, Mr. Chung personally gave Secretary Del Toro a tour of Hyundai’s shipyard in Ulsan. 

Later that afternoon, the Secretary travelled to Geoje Island, where Hanwha Ocean CEO Hyek-woong Kwon led a tour of his company’s shipyard there.

Secretary Del Toro reflected, “In each of these engagements, I brought to the table a simple, yet profound opportunity: invest in America.  I was enormously gratified by the strong interest expressed by the leaders of each of these world-class shipbuilders in establishing U.S. subsidiaries and investing in shipyards in the United States.”

“The importance of Korean shipbuilding as an asset to the U.S.-ROK alliance and to the network of global maritime democracies cannot be overstated,” the US navy reported.

 “As I saw firsthand during my shipyard visits in Korea this week, Hanwha and Hyundai set the global industry standard.  I could not be more excited at the prospect of these companies bringing their expertise, their technology, and their cutting-edge best practices to American shores,” he said.

The secretary’s current trip to the Republic of Korea, Japan, and Palau, aligns with the Pentagon’s national defense industrial strategy, which calls for venture capital and new ideas to revive the U.S. industrial base.

Secretary Del Toro, also noted that: “in addition to our currently active shipyards, there are numerous former shipyard sites around the country which are largely intact and dormant. These are ripe for redevelopment as dual-use construction facilities for both warships, like AEGIS destroyers, as well as high value chain commercial vessels, such as the ammonia gas carriers that will enable the global transition from fossil fuels to green energy sources like hydrogen.”

Furthermore, the secretary emphasized the economic value of revitalizing U.S. shipbuilding: “Investment in dual-use shipyards in the United States will create good paying, blue collar and new-collar American jobs building the advanced ships that will protect and power the economy of tomorrow.”

Source: US Navy