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Ambassador Marantis Travels to Malaysia, Discusses Plans for Economic Engagement

Today Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis met in Kuala Lumpur with Malaysian government and business leaders to discuss the importance of U.S. trade and investment relations with Malaysia and U.S. plans for economic engagement with the fast-growing markets of the Asia-Pacific.

Malaysia is currently the United States' 17th largest goods trading partner with $43.7 billion in total (two ways) goods trade during 2008. The United States' top exports to Malaysia are machinery, medical instruments, iron and steel, and aircraft as well as dairy products, soybeans and other agricultural products, totaling $15 billion in exports during 2008.

In meetings with senior Malaysian officials, including Trade Minister Mustapa and Deputy Governor Ooi of Bank Negara, Ambassador Marantis discussed ways to expand cooperation with Malaysia bilaterally, regionally, and multilaterally. He updated his counterparts on U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, a platform for economic integration across the dynamic Asia-Pacific region, and he explained that the eight-member initiative could grow by attracting other partners committed to seeking an ambitious and comprehensive agreement. He also discussed joint activities in APEC, the WTO, and in the workplan of the ASEAN-U.S. Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement.

Ambassador Marantis echoed these themes in his meetings with local business leaders, including the American Chamber of Commerce and the Malay Chamber of Commerce. He stressed the importance of the administration's trade agenda in increasing exports, creating jobs, and promoting the engagement of small- and medium-sized enterprises in the global economy.

Another full day of meetings in Malaysia is planned for Thursday, February 4, before Ambassador Marantis departs for Jakarta, Indonesia.

Ambassador Marantis Meets with Malaysian Chambers of Commerce
Ambassador Marantis meets with the Malaysian Chambers of Commerce

Ambassador Marantis at the AMCHAM
Ambassador Marantis gives remarks at the American Chamber of Commerce in Malaysia