U.S. Advances Trade Relations with ASEAN Countries
High-ranking trade officials from the United States and the member nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations met June 13 in Washington, D.C., as part of the week-long ASEAN “Road Show” that is seeking to highlight job-promoting trade and economic opportunities between the U.S. and ASEAN. According to a press release from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the officials discussed concrete initiatives to deepen economic ties and create new opportunities that would benefit businesses and workers. They assessed progress on work underway as part of the U.S.-ASEAN Enhanced Economic Engagement Initiative and exchanged views on regional initiatives and how they could work together to support a successful WTO ministerial meeting in Bali this December.
Representatives from the U.S. and Indonesia also held a bilateral meeting under the auspices of the U.S.-Indonesia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement. The two sides discussed bilateral, regional and multilateral trade issues, including their close cooperation within the framework of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and their cooperation on this year’s WTO ministerial session. The United States also sought to address concerns related to the growing number of measures Indonesia has implemented to restrict access to its market in the agriculture, manufacturing, energy and telecommunications sectors, as well as concerns related to Indonesian investment restrictions. The two countries planned to hold additional discussions June 14 on intellectual property rights and were also expected to meet with U.S. and Indonesian business representatives to obtain their input on key issues of concern.
The TIFA session was co-chaired by Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific Barbara Weisel and Indonesian Ministry of Trade Director-General for International Trade Cooperation Iman Pambagyo.