On August 18, President Biden hosted Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol at Camp David to discuss their trilateral partnership.1 Besides reaffirming their commitment to regular government meetings and discussing national security issues, the group announced the creation of a Supply Chain Early Warning System (“EWS”) pilot program, among other supply chain-related issues.2
The program will be structured as a periodic information exchange through American, Japanese, and South Korean diplomatic missions in a “select set” of countries, though the select set of countries was not further identified.3 This program is intended to complement existing early warning mechanisms in place with the European Union, and early warning mechanisms yet to be set up in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.4 Finally, the EWS program participants will identify priority products and materials that require additional attention as part of their monitoring process.5 The Fact Sheet released after the meeting identifies critical minerals and rechargeable batteries as priority products for the pilot program.6 In addition, a White House statement summarizing the meeting noted that the three countries are already cooperating on supply chain resilience several critical sectors, including semiconductors and batteries more generally.7
Besides the EWS Pilot Program, the three countries reaffirmed their commitment to several existing supply chain programs. One of these programs is the Partnership for Resilient and Inclusive Supply Chains (RISE), which is intended to help developing countries expand their supply chains for green energy products.8 The US also committed to including Japanese and South Korean counterparts in Disruptive Technology Strike Force information exchanges, to prevent malicious applications of dual-use goods.9
This trilateral summit shows that the US continues to make supply chain issues a priority in international meetings. The identified priority sectors for the EWS pilot program, batteries and critical minerals, also shows that the US will continue to focus on these products as it sets out its supply chain policy goals.
4 Id. Shortly after the trilateral meeting at Camp David, the U.S. Department of Commerce released text of the IPEF Supply Chain Agreement, which provides more detail on the IPEF’s supply chain early warning mechanisms, on September 7, 2023. These include a Supply Chain Council, which is intended to be a group that meets annually to map supply chains and resolve bottlenecks, and a Supply Chain Crisis Response Network, an emergency communications channel to improve information exchange and request assistance to resolve emerging supply chain issues. https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2023/09/us-department-commerce-publishes-text-landmark-indo-pacific-economic.