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U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk Meets Indonesian Trade Minister

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk met with Indonesian Minister of Trade Mari Pangestu in their first meeting under the U.S.-Indonesia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). Ambassador Kirk and Minister Pangestu discussed a wide range of bilateral, regional and multilateral trade issues. Ambassador Kirk emphasized the importance avoiding protectionism and of using the TIFA to help find ways to address the growing number of bilateral trade issues between the two countries. The two ministers also discussed the prospective Comprehensive Partnership between the United States and Indonesia, agreeing on the value of deepening bilateral relations, including in the economic arena, and exchanging views on possible approaches. They also agreed on the importance of working together to achieve a balanced conclusion to the World Trade Organization's Doha Development Agenda and to cooperate closely to advance work in APEC and under the U.S.-ASEAN TIFA.

"With the current global economic downturn, it is extremely important that the world's economies demonstrate their firm commitment to a strong, open, and dynamic international trading system," Ambassador Kirk said. "The United States and Indonesia have a common interest in further expanding and deepening our economic relationship by taking specific steps to resolve outstanding issues as well as through potential new initiatives."

Prior to the meeting between Ambassador Kirk and Minister Pangestu, the two sides held three days of detailed discussions on the range of bilateral trade and investment issues. The United States raised concerns about Indonesia's imposition of import licensing requirements on a wide array of goods, new restrictions on pharmaceutical trade, recently imposed import restrictions on pork products, local content requirements in the telecommunications sector, burdensome new registration requirements for imported food products, and the need for improved protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights.

Background

The United States and Indonesia, the world's third-largest democracy, are working to build a Comprehensive Partnership to enhance cooperation bilaterally, regionally, and globally on a broad range of issues. Two-way goods trade between the United States and Indonesia totaled $21.7 billion in 2008. U.S. good exports were $5.9 billion, up nearly 40 percent from the previous year. Indonesia is the United States' seventh largest agricultural export market, with exports totaling $2.2 billion in 2008. Bilateral trade in services was $1.6 billion in 2007, the latest available data, up nearly nine percent from the previous year. The stock of U.S. foreign direct investment in Indonesia totaled $10 billion in 2007, the latest available data, up about two percent from 2006.