April 23, 2017

Pence praises moderate Islam in Indonesia

22 April 2017, 01:23 | Megan Pierce

US Vice President Mike Pence (left) shakes hands with Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla during a business forum in Jakarta o Friday.

"We told them that there were more steps that needed to be taken", the adviser said, noting it was the only business issue that Pence raised in his Thursday meeting with Widodo.

The Vicepresident defended the need of an agreement for both parts that allows USA exporters a full participation in the Indonesian market. One example of the types.

The adviser also said the two countries will reaffirm their partnership on security, trade and immigration issues during the visit.

The US Vice-President will speak with businessmen in a closed-door meeting in Jakarta, before leaving for Sydney later today.

Australia and the USA both signed up to global tax reform proposals at the G20 when it was held in Cairns in 2014.

"There is nothing wrong with the United States seeking to have grievances addressed, especially in areas where Indonesia might be in violation of WTO rules, but the devil is in the details", said Poling.

And in a sign of greater opportunities within the U.S. -Indonesia economic relationship, Pence on Friday witnessed the signing of 11 agreements worth more than $10 billion involving U.S. companies in Indonesia, including Exxon Mobil, Lockheed Martin, and General Electric.

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The rhetoric emanating from Washington involving "America first" has also perturbed Indonesia, a country with simmering economic nationalist sentiments of its own.

Over the past six months, Indonesia has wrestled with mining giant Freeport McMoRan, demanding the company divests 51 per cent of its shares in its Papua-based gold and copper mine, as well as demanding Google settle unpaid taxes of more than $400million.

His message at each of those stops was to reassure political and business leaders that Trump's "America First" policy meant that the United States was open to foreign investment, and that his administration wanted to work with business leaders to knock down barriers for USA products.

His visit will also give an insight into what the Trump administration has planned in terms of trade after it abandoned the 12 nation Trans-Pacific Partnership.

As tensions threaten to boil over between the United States and North Korea, U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence is en route to Australia in a visit expected to focus on regional security and trade.

"But that is not a foregone conclusion".

China's territorial claims in the contested South China Sea are another subject that Pence expects to discuss with Australian officials during the visit.

The alliance was rocked by a January phone call between Mr Trump and Mr Turnbull, when the pair clashed over an asylum seeker deal signed with the Obama administration.

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