"The US’ protectionism policy in global trade continues to reduce the interest of developing nations. In fact, the US bilateral trade agreements (with other countries) will only serve as a means for them to strengthen their influences in the WTO through trade-off interests," IGJ Executive Director Rachmi Hertanti noted in a press statement released on Friday.
Hence, Hertanti emphasized that the Indonesian government's visit to the US in the near future should not eventually legitimize the US interests.
The IGJ executive director further cautioned of the wide-ranging impact of the US demand on Indonesia's trade strategy, especially in WTO negotiations and other international trade negotiations.
"The US’ move is also part of their efforts to stop the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) that greatly serves the interests of developing nations in the WTO, particularly those related to the implementation of special and differential treatment. Moreover, if revision of the status of developing nations is applied to Indonesia, it will affect negotiations on farm agreement and fishery subsidy agreement in which Indonesia has great interests," she stated.
For its part, the Indonesian government should not treat the status of developing nations as a single issue related to the Indonesia-US trade ties only. However, it must be viewed from the wider perspective of international trade relations with other countries, particularly in the WTO, in the long run," she noted.
Senior economist Mari Elka Pangestu had earlier stressed on the need for Indonesia to step up its role in international organizations and forums, including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and Group of Twenty (G20), particularly to encourage WTO reforms.
The move is deemed necessary to tackle the US-China trade war that is expected to continue this year, despite both nations having inked the first phase of trade agreement at the end of December 2019.
"We must play our role, for instance, in the APEC and G20, to encourage necessary reform of the WTO, which according to the US, still has some weaknesses," she added.
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