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United States and Indonesia Agree to Steps to Deepen Trade Ties

Washington, D.C. – Representatives from the United States and Indonesia held discussions under the U.S.-Indonesia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) on September 18.  This was their first meeting under the TIFA since Indonesian President Joko Widodo took office, and an opportunity to focus on the importance of their economic relationship and ways to further strengthen it ahead of President Widodo’s visit to the United States next month.

The TIFA session was co-chaired by Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific Barbara Weisel and Indonesian Ministry of Trade Director-General for International Trade Cooperation Bachrul Chairi.  The U.S. team also included representatives from the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, State, and Treasury.

During the discussions, U.S. and Indonesian officials exchanged views on a wide range of trade and investment issues.  In addition to specific bilateral issues between them, they discussed policies related to the information and communications technology sector, and ICT policies to enhance economic growth and promote jobs.  The officials also discussed each country’s efforts to address illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. 

They also discussed Indonesia’s new Economic Policy Package, which focuses on deregulation as a means of improving Indonesia’s business climate and competitiveness.  The two countries agreed to work together on including regulations of specific interest to the United States – such as those related to localization and foreign equity limitations – in the list of measures Indonesia will consider for deregulation.  

In addition, U.S. and Indonesian officials discussed regional and multilateral issues.  The United States provided an update on the status of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the efforts of the 12 TPP Members to conclude the agreement in coming weeks.  Indonesia gave a report on the status of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.  They also discussed ways they could cooperate to ensure progress under the ASEAN-U.S. TIFA and how to could coordinate in the lead up to the World Trade Organization meetings later this year.

The TIFA is the principal forum for the trade and investment discussions between the United States and Indonesia. Officials meet regularly both in formal TIFA meetings and informally to address bilateral issues, discuss ways to build our bilateral trade and investment relationship, and to coordinate with respect to APEC, WTO, and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) issues.

U.S. goods trade with Indonesia totaled $28 billion in 2014. Two-way services trade totaled $2.9 billion in 2013 (latest available data). U.S. exports of agricultural products to Indonesia totaled $2.9 billion in 2014, making Indonesia the 8th largest export market for U.S. agricultural products. U.S. foreign direct investment in Indonesia in 2013 was $13.5 billion, mostly in the energy and mining sectors.