An Indonesian official said here on Monday that a negotiating team would be sent to the United States over the latter’s plans to review its Indonesia’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program that exempting Indonesian products from its trade barriers.
The move was to respond a notice made by the US Trade Representative (USTR) office in April that it would do so following the United State’s deficits in its trade with several countries, including Indonesia.
The USTR said the review on Indonesia’s GSP would be conducted on terms of market access, services and investment.
The USTR pointed out on its website that Indonesia has applied trade and investment barriers schemes that create negative effects over the United States commerce.
Under its GSP program for Indonesia, the United States has exempted Indonesia’s 124 products from its tariffs.
“We would send the team to negotiate with the United States government. We would negotiate with them to continue their GSP program for Indonesia,” Foreign Trade Director General at Indonesia Trade Ministry Oke Nurwan said here.
The Southeast Asia’s largest economy recorded surplus in its trade with the United States in the last several years.
Indonesia saw a 8.6 billion U.S. Dollars surplus from its trade with the United States in 2015, generated from its 16.2 billion U.S. Dollars of exports and 7.59 billion U.S. Dollars of imports from that country.
The surplus from Indonesia’s trade with the United States continued in the following years at 8.47 and 9.44 billion U.S. Dollars in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Most of Indonesia’s exports to the United States were non-oil and gas products, comprised of garments, footwear, food, tea, coffee, fishes, rubber and machinery.
The commpodotie imported by Indonesia from the United States among others agricultural products, food and related products and commercial planes.
Indonesia Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita has said earlier that Indonesia would take soft approach to respond the developing situation through its embassy in the United States.
But in case if the United States government moves ahead on stopping its trade tariff exemption over Indonesia’s 124 products, Indonesia would prepare ‘retaliatory policies’ against it, the minister said.
“I have contacted the United States government because we don’t want trade war as it would eventually generate loses for all parties. We would like to collaborate instead,” he said.
(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)