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Jakarta Post

Jokowi meets with Pompeo, seeks to secure GSP extension for Indonesia

  • Tri Indah Oktavianti

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, October 29, 2020   /   07:13 pm
Jokowi meets with Pompeo, seeks to secure GSP extension for Indonesia US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo during their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Bogor, Indonesia, on Oct. 29, 2020. ( Indonesian Presidential Palace/ Muchlis Jr )

Indonesia has sought to extend the trade perks under the United States' trade preference program, which provides a competitive advantage for Indonesian export products in the American market.

In a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the Bogor Palace in West Java on Thursday, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo expressed Jakarta's commitment to advancing the strategic economic partnership between Indonesia and the US, according to Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi, who accompanied the President at the event.

“The President emphasized that Indonesia wants to see more economic cooperation between the two countries in the future, particularly with the extension of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) facility for Indonesia,” Retno told the press after the meeting.

The minister went on to say that Pompeo had emphasized Washington's commitment to improving economic ties with Jakarta, including by encouraging more American businesses to engage with Indonesia.

Following a separate bilateral meeting with Pompeo earlier on Thursday, Retno said that Jakarta and Washington had agreed to work together on strengthening the global supply chain and expediting post-pandemic economic recovery.

“In this regard, I underlined again the importance of GSP facilities, which not only bring benefits for Indonesia, but also for US businesses,” she said.

Read also: Pompeo praises Indonesia’s reform effort to cut red tape

Since 2011, Indonesia has been one of 120 countries that have benefited from the GSP. As the oldest and largest US trade preference program, the GSP gives developing economies the privilege of exporting their products to the US with lower or zero duties.

Indonesia ranks third among countries that have benefited the most from the program, with almost 15 percent of the country's products exported to the US under it.

However, the US Trade Representative Office on Feb. 10 removed Indonesia from the developing and least-developing countries list, meaning that the US now recognizes Indonesia as a developed country. Under the policy, exported goods from Indonesia would be charged with higher tariffs.

In 2018, US President Donald Trump said his administration would review the GSP benefits provided to several developing countries, including Indonesia, with which the US has a trade deficit.

Indonesia has since lobbied Washington to retain the trade privileges under the GSP, especially after seeing India and Thailand lose their respective trade privileges in October last year.