REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said he would drum up support from U.S. importers to maintain the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) facility for certain Indonesian commodities exported to the world's largest economy.
The Indonesian government is concerned with the U.S. government's plan to review its policy of giving the GSP facility for a number of Indonesian commodities. U.S. importers also need the GSP policy to sustain their business, Engartiasto said here on Tuesday.
"Indonesia understands the U.S. plans to review its GSP facility policy, but Indonesia hopes that the result of the review would not affect Indonesian exports to the United States and would not have its impact on U.S. industry benefitting from the GSP scheme," Enggartiasto said in a written statement.
Enggartiasto said U.S. importers are actively involved in a hearing with their government in the process of reviewing the GSP scheme received by a number of developing economies including Indonesia. He said GSP benefits both Indonesian exporters and U.S. importers and industries.
GSP is a U.S. form of assistance exempting certain export commodities of developing countries including Indonesia from import duty . In April 2017, the U.S. government decided to review the assistance for a number of those countries including Indonesia.
The Trade Minister, therefore, is seeking to drum up support from the U.S. importers to talk the U.S. government into maintaining the GSP facility.
In 2017, Indonesia's exports of commodities given the GSP facility exported to the United States were valued at US$1.9 billion- much smaller than India's exports of US$5.6 billion for India and Brazil's US$2.5 billion under the GSP scheme.
Indonesia's commodities given the GSP facility included rubber tires, vehicles cables, gold, fatty acid, metal ornament, hand gloves, musical instruments, aluminum, keyboards, batteries, etc.
Indonesia is also seeking to persuade the U.S. government not to raise its import duties in steel and aluminum, the Minister said, adding an increase in the import duties on the two commodities would also hurt the U.S. industries.
President Trump already signed a decision to raise the import duty on steel to 25 percent and on aluminum to 10 percent in March , 2018.
Indonesia exported US$112.7 million worth of steel products to the United states or 0.3 percent of the U.S. steel market in 2017. The exports were small in value on anti dumping import duty and countervailing duty already long slapped by the United States on Indonesian steel products U.S.
Meanwhile, exports of aluminum to that country in 2017 were valued at US$212 million or 1.2 percent of the U.S. market.
The aluminum export value contributed 50 percent to the country's total export value of that commodity.