VP calls on US to exercise introspection over trade deficit

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Vice President Jusuf Kalla has called on the US government to exercise introspection, following its accusation of "trade cheater" against Indonesia which has recorded trade surplus with the US.

"US President Donald Trump said that we had cheated and caused trade deficit. Many countries have faced trade deficit, but this is a fair trade. If this happened, then the US should exercise introspection. We do not import much of American products because they are expensive," Kalla told the press here on Tuesday.

Earlier on Monday, the US Department of Homeland Security had issued a list of 16 countries that were considered to have trade imbalance with US.

Indonesia was in the 15th position on the list, with US$13 billion in trade surplus with the US.

"Of the 16 countries, we are in the 15th position, and actually it is fair. In addition to oil and gas, our export to the US includes garment, footwear, and machinery, while import includes aircraft, machinery, electronic wares, and others," he added.

Therefore, Kalla noted that the bilateral trade between US and Indonesia had run normally as they had recorded trade deficit over other partner countries as well.

"They cannot say that Indonesia is cheating. We have never forced them to buy Indonesian products. They buy them because our products are good and cheaper," Kalla remarked.

China topped the list with a $347 billion surplus followed by Japan, Germany, Mexico, Ireland, Vietnam, Italy, South Korea, Malaysia, India, Thailand, France, Switzerland, and Taiwan.

Canada was at the bottom of the list with $11 billion surplus. (*)