Indonesia’s Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan met with President Donald Trump at the White House on Tuesday, with the senior member of President Joko Widodo’s cabinet eager to solidify Indonesia-US ties ahead of the latter’s upcoming transition of power.
Luhut specifically conveyed President Jokowi’s gratitude to Trump’s administration for extending Indonesia’s status as a beneficiary of the US’ Generalized System of Preference (GSP) trade preference program, which eliminates duties on thousands of products.
“Whatever the result of the US election, we need to preserve our friendship. We’ll always be friends. I also hope that such good communication with the White House will carry over after January 2021,” Luhut said in a written statement, referring to the scheduled handover from Trump to President-elect Joe Biden.
Luhut was photographed at the Oval Office alongside Trump, his senior advisor/son-in-law Jared Kushner, advisor/daughter Ivanka Trump, US International Development Finance Corporation CEO Adam Boehler, and Indonesia’s Ambassador to the US Muhammad Lutfi.
Following his meeting with Trump, Luhut met with Vice President Mike Pence with the latter offering collaboration with Indonesia on producing COVID-19 vaccines.
During his time in office, Trump has, by and large, been on good terms with the Indonesian government. While many in the world’s most populous Muslim nation revile his bigotry, Trump has some friends in high places in Indonesia, chief among whom is his business partner Hary Tanoe, a media mogul/politician and an ally of Jokowi.
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