Industry ministry warns of impact of U.S. protectionism

Industry ministry warns of impact of U.S. protectionism

Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto (right) and Haris Munandar (left), secretary general of the Industry Ministry. (ANTARA News/ Biro Humas Kementerian Perindustrian)

Jakarta  (ANTARA News) - The Industry Ministry has said Indonesian industrialists and exporters should expand their export markets to forestall the impact of possible U.S. protectionism.

"We have quite a lot of manufactured products exported to the United States," Secretary General of the Ministry Haris Munandar said here on Wednesday.

Exports of textiles, marine products and various other commodities could be affected if the United States slaps high tariff barrier, Haris said told Antara news agency.

He said there are many potential markets open for exploitation such as Egypt and Middle East, Africa, South America, and Russia.

He also called for diversification of manufactured products to be exported to meet the appetite of the global market.

He said Indonesia is negotiating with the United States on bilateral trade.

Meanwhile, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said Indonesia hopes to have new trade cooperation agreements with a number of other countries to promoted exports anticipating the impact of escalation of trade war between China and the United States.

"I hope to wrap up talks on cooperation agreements with Australia, Tunisia, Mozambique and Morocco," Enggartiasto said after delivering general lecture at the state-run Airlangga University in Surabaya, East Java on Wednesday.

He said a Director General of the Trade Ministry is now in Japan for general review of bilateral trade between the two countries to be followed with similar meetings with the European Union and EFTA

. The Minister said he was optimistic the United States Would not revoke the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) facility.

Enggartiasto has discussed the GSP issue with the U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Robert E Lighthizer.

The United States has said it might review the GSP facility, which exempts 124 Indonesian commodities from import duty.

Reporting by Sella Panduarsa Gareta/ Indra Setiawan/Willy Irawan (AS)
Editing by A Saragih