The United States needs to resist protectionist trade measures that could 'ruin the world,' Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani said on Monday (29/01) (Photo: Ministry of Finance)

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesia’s finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati criticised U.S President Donald Trump’s protectionist trade policies, warning from their potential implications on global economic growth.

“The current protectionist language is definitely going to create concern about whether globally there will be a setback in the progress that has been made over the past three decades,” Inrawati said in an interview on Monday.

The former World Bank Director pointed out that openness and global trade are supporting several economies and reinforcing their efforts to overcome issues like poverty. She also commented on the dollar’s decline. The world’s dominant currency is its biggest slide since 2010-11 and its fall accelerated last week when US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the weakness had its advantages.

“The US dollar, should be reflecting the fundamentals of their economy. It’s not going to be a tool to boosting of their competitiveness,” Sri Mulyani said.

Referring back to the issue of trade protectionism she added: “We are hoping, as President Trump said, that ‘America First’ does not mean America alone.”

About 16 percent of Indonesia’s trade is directly with the United States, though it also has an indirect exposure through other trading partners like nearby Singapore and Japan.

On Friday, Trump reiterated his “America First” stance, days after his administration imposed new tariffs on US imports of solar panels and washing machines.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has previously condemned protectionism and isolation solutions for current world problems, stating that multilateral solutions are the right answer.

Sri Mulyani was in London to launch the second “komodo” bond, a rupiah denominated bond sold in international debt markets rather than in Jakarta and named after the large, aggressive lizard found only in Indonesia.