Indonesia Concerned as US Leans Toward Protectionism

Indonesia Concerned as US Leans Toward Protectionism

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Jakarta — Indonesia has expressed its concern over the United States’ stance against open and free trade, which gives a bleak outlook for the future of global commerce. “At the previous G20 meeting in Hanzhou last year, each country agreed not to apply protective policies that would create obstacles in trade and investment. This time it didn’t happen,” Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati told reporters on Wednesday (22/03). She referred to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Baden-Baden, Germany on 17-18 March. She said everyone but the U.S. agreed that trade is important for the global economy, hence cooperation between countries is highly recommended. U.S. President Donald Trump is leading the world’s largest market toward protectionism, as he withdrew from the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. Economists fear that the move can result in retaliation from other countries and the spread of protectionism. The U.S. is Indonesia’s biggest export destination. The country’s total non-oil and gas exports to the U.S., including textiles, rubber and shoes, reached US$15.7 billion last year, up 2.5 percent from 2015. That was about 12 percent of the country’s total non-oil and gas export last year. Exports to China and Japan constituted 11.5 percent and 10 percent respectively of the total exports during the same period. “Indonesia is an open country, and export is our source of growth,” the minister said. She added that Indonesia is keen on entering new markets, while strengthening its existing bilateral trade agreements, in order to counter any drawbacks should U.S. double its efforts against free trade.

Source: thejakartaglobe

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