The origins of the U.S.-Korea Business Council and the Korea-U.S. Business Council date to July 1986, when James M. Voss, chairman of the Caltex Corporation, and Dr. Nam Duck-Woo, chairman of the Korea-U.S. Economic Council (KUSEC), agreed to organize a joint conference of U.S. and Korean business executives. The U.S.-Korea Business Council and the Korea-U.S. Business Council were established in 1987 to realize this vision.
The U.S.-Korea Business Council was established as an independent organization under the chairmanship of David Roderick, chairman of the USX Corporation. KUSEC (now hosted by the Korea International Trade Association) assumed responsibility as the secretariat of the Korean council, which was chaired by Dr. Nam Duck-woo. The two councils held their first joint steering committee meeting in March 1998 and their inaugural joint conference in October 1988 in Seoul, Korea.
The founding mission of the councils was to foster better business ties between the United States and Korea, and to promote the bilateral economic and political relationship in order to expand trade and investment between the two countries. Through dialogue, working groups, and other unilateral and joint initiatives, the councils for more than twenty years have led efforts in both the United States and Korea to improve the bilateral trade and investment environment.
In 1999, the Federation of Korean Industries assumed responsibility from KUSEC as the secretariat of the Korea-U.S. Business Council. In 2002, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce became secretariat of the U.S.-Korea Business Council.