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Ambassador Kirk, Minister Pangestu Meet Under Trade Dialogue

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk held a wide-ranging discussion today with Indonesian Minister of Trade Mari Pangestu under the U.S.-Indonesia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). The two ministers discussed bilateral, regional and multilateral trade issues, including the importance of expanding cooperation on APEC issues prior to the Leaders’ Summit in November. With respect to the bilateral relationship, they welcomed the rapid increase in bilateral goods trade last year to an all-time high of $23 billion. U.S.-Indonesia trade supports U.S. jobs in sectors such as aircraft, agriculture, machinery and electrical machinery, and professional services.

“Trade with Indonesia supports American jobs in sectors across the U.S. economy, and this relationship has tremendous potential,” said Ambassador Kirk. “We share a strong interest in working together with Southeast Asia’s largest economy, resolving outstanding issues and developing new initiatives that will build our trade and investment relationship to the benefit of people in both our countries.”

The ministers agreed to explore new initiatives to build further momentum in the relationship, and expressed interest in holding a high-level business dialogue during the next year.

Prior to the meeting between Ambassador Kirk and Minister Pangestu, the two sides held technical discussions of bilateral trade and investment issues, including issues related to pharmaceuticals trade, food and beverage labeling restrictions, the Generalized System of Preferences, and agricultural trade. The ministers charged their staffs with making additional progress in resolving these issues prior to the President Obama’s planned visit to Indonesia in November.

BACKGROUND

The TIFA is the main forum for the trade dialogue between the United States and Indonesia. Ambassador Kirk and Minister Pangestu meet regularly both in formal TIFA meetings and informally to discuss ways to build our bilateral economic relationship and coordinate on APEC, ASEAN, and WTO issues. The United States also has a Comprehensive Partnership and a Commercial Dialogue with Indonesia. The agendas and goals of these initiatives are closely coordinated to strengthen and expand the person-to-person and business-to-business ties between our two democracies.