TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo met with five members of the United States Congress from the Democratic Party at the Presidential Palace, Jakarta, Wednesday, April 12. A number of issues were conveyed to the congress members, including the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), a US trade program that exempts import duty tariffs.
“The president requests support for the continuation of GSP from the United States,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi who attended the meeting, in a press statement at the Palace, Wednesday, April 12, 2023.
GSP has been given unilaterally by the US Government to developing countries since 1974. Indonesia first received GSP facilities in 1980.
In 2020, the US Government through the US Trade Representative (USTR) issued a decision to extend the GSP to Indonesia. This was announced a day after President Jokowi’s meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java, Thursday, October 28, 2020.
Apart from the GSP issue, Jokowi stated Indonesia’s commitment to the issue of climate change. “Because this is of interest to the (US Congress) delegation,” Retno said.
To members of the US Congress, the President presented data showing Indonesia’s achievements on the issue of climate change. Forest fires, for example, are claimed to have declined by more than 80 percent.
Jokowi also spoke about the importance of the issue of market access as the United States talked about cooperation with developing countries like Indonesia. “The president also conveyed Indonesia’s desire to be part of the global supply chain and US supply chain,” Retno added.
Lastly, Jokowi confirmed Indonesia’s readiness for cooperation in energy transition, such as through the Just Energy Transfer Partnership (JETP) agreed upon at the G20 Bali. Through this mechanism, US$20 billion has been made available.
“It’s now about how to spend the available money to implement it to support the energy transition,” Jokowi said.
Meanwhile, Retno Marsudi said members of the United States Congress made a commitment regarding the importance of partnering with Indonesia. They also expressed appreciation for the G20 Bali and support for Indonesia as Chair of ASEAN 2023.