The President is visiting South Korea today as part of his tour of our allies in Asia. Trade to the region accounts for hundreds of thousands of American jobs, and as Asian economies continue to boom, demand for goods “Made in the USA” continues to increase.
But the region wasn’t always this prosperous. South Korea, in particular, was once a recipient of American foreign aid and now has become an aid donor itself, complete with its own Peace Corps, KOICA, with over 5,000 South Koreans serving as volunteers in developing countries.
In 1953, South Korea was a devastated nation, trying to pick up the pieces after a bloody civil war.
The United States invested $35 billion in economic and development assistance for South Korea over the next several decades.
South Korea is now our 6th largest trading partner – providing $39 billion in U.S. trade revenue annually – more than recouping our entire investment.