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United States and Indonesia Agree to Step Up Work to Expand Trade

WASHINGTON, DC – The United States met with Indonesia on June 12-13 under their Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), agreeing on next steps for expeditiously resolving bilateral issues and further building their trade relations.  

Ambassador Robert Lighthizer welcomed the shared commitment to intensify engagement under the TIFA.  In a concluding meeting with Indonesian Investment Board Chairman Tom Lembong, Ambassador Lighthizer emphasized the Trump Administration’s interest in enhancing ties with countries in the Asia-Pacific region, the importance of addressing outstanding trade issues in the next few months, and the priority of lowering the bilateral trade deficit, the United States’ 15th largest.  

During the TIFA meetings, the U.S. side outlined the Trump Administration’s trade agenda and focus on making concrete progress on agriculture, high-technology products, digital services, financial services, and other issues.  The two countries agreed on follow-up actions on these issues and discussed a work plan for addressing U.S. intellectual property concerns, recognizing the urgency of progress in this area given Indonesia’s listing on USTR’s Special 301 Priority Watch List.  

The United States and Indonesia agreed to conduct detailed and regular discussions under the TIFA in order to maintain momentum in their dialogue and ensure continued progress.  They also exchanged views on regional and global trade developments, including related to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other regional and multilateral trade arrangements.  In addition, both U.S. and Indonesian officials held meetings with stakeholders from both countries to hear directly from them about key trade issues of concern.  

The interagency teams for the TIFA were led by Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific Barbara Weisel and Ministry of Trade Director General for International Trade Negotiations Iman Pambagyo. Also included for the United States were officials from: the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; the U.S. Departments of State, Agriculture, Commerce, and Health and Human Services; the Environmental Protection Agency; and the U.S. International Trade Commission. For Indonesia, officials were from the Ministries of Trade, Foreign Affairs, Justice and Human Rights, Industry, Marine and Fisheries, Finance, as well as the Bank of Indonesia and the Investment Coordinating Board.  

Background 

The United States had a $13.2 billion trade deficit with Indonesia in 2016.  Two-way goods trade between them totaled $25 billion in 2016, with U.S. goods exports to Indonesia almost doubling in the last decade to $6 billion in 2016, and goods imports totaling $19.2 billion.  U.S. services exports to Indonesia have increased more than 70 percent in the last decade and now total $2.5 billion. Services imports from Indonesia amounted to $780 million in 2015 (latest available data).  In 2016, Indonesia was the United States' 35th largest goods export market.              

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