On Thursday and Friday, August 11 and 12, Deputy United States Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis traveled to Manado, Indonesia to advance U.S. trade objectives in the Asia-Pacific during the annual meeting of the trade ministers of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Taken together, ASEAN is the 4th largest trading partner of the United States, with total two-way trade in 2010 approaching $178 billion.
Ambassador Marantis began his visit a meeting with the ASEAN trade ministers to take stock of progress on initiatives under the 2011 Trade and Investment (TIFA) work plan, including trade facilitation, trade finance, trade and environment, and standards. They also discussed proposals for the work in 2012, including topics such as health care services and cloud computing, as well as plans to step up our government-to-business dialogue.
Ambassador Marantis also held bilateral meetings with the trade ministers of Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei Darussalam to discuss plans for the Trans-Pacific Partnership round in Chicago next month and to coordinate on how to achieve the goals the United States has set for APEC this year. In addition, he met bilaterally with Korea, Philippines, Cambodia, and Indonesia to discuss bilateral issues and APEC goals.
Ambassador Marantis and Australian Trade Minister Craig Emerson