Indonesia’s Trade Minister to Visits U.S on Trade War Dispute

Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita accompanied by the Director General of Foreign Trade, Oke Nurwan; Director General of National Export Development, Arlinda; as well as Head of Trade Assessment and Development Agency, Kasan held a press conference on Working Visit of the Ministry of Commerce to the United States on Friday (13/07) - Photo by Trade Ministry Office

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Following the United States’s (U.S) threatened on Indonesian export, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said to visit United States (U.S) on July 21-28, to maintain a trade balance between the two countries.

In the limited cabinet meeting on July 10, President Joko Widodo has urged his ministers to revise a number of bilateral trade agreements with partner countries to address trade wars between the U.S and China.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said, the evaluation also to gain maximum profit from trade agreements and to adjust the benefit for Indonesia and its partner. She adds, President Widodo has asked his ministers to immediately finalize the evaluation of the bilateral agreement.

According to the Statistics Indonesia data, Indonesia booked US$9.59 billion trade surplus with the America but deficit $14,19 billion with China in 2017. The country recorded $21.32 billion in export to China, lower than the import from the country of $35.51 billion.

The value of exports to the U.S could be eroded along with news that the U.S is evaluating about 124 Indonesian export products, including textiles, plywood, cotton, and some fishery products such as shrimp and crabs.

Evaluation is conducted to determine what products are still eligible to receive generalized system of preferences (GSP). If the GSP for Indonesia is eliminated then the cost of Indonesian exports to the U.S becomes more expensive.

The U.S government on July 6, imposed a 25 percent duty on imported goods from China worth of $34 billion. In addition, the country is considering a separate import duty worth more than $16 billion for Chinese goods after the public hearing later this month.

Furthermore Trump last month asked the Trade Representative’s office to identify Chinese goods worth $200 billion that could impose a 10 percent import tariff.

The International Monetary Fund has warned that a massive trade war could undermine the strengthening of the global economy. But Trump did not retreat, arguing that unfair trade practices in China hurt U.S workers.

Lukita explained this visit is a top anticipative on the current international trade dynamics that sparked a policy of protectionism to increase of import duty tariff. Furthermore he said in a official statement, this visit to strengthen the bilateral partnership of the two countries.

“Indonesian government will seek to safeguard and secure the local commodity export to achieve this year’s target to grow 11 percent. A visit to the U.S also to keep Indonesian export undisturbed because America is the second major trading partner country after China,” said Lukita.

One of the agendas to be discussed by the Minister of Trade is the increase of iron and steel aluminum import tariffs to the U.S and GSP. In addition, Lukita also scheduled to meet U.S Trade Minister to raise the issue of U.S trade deficit from Indonesia.

Written by Staff Editor, Edited by Linda Silaen, Email: theinsiderstories@gmail.com