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VP Pence arrives in Australia, last stop in Asia

VP Pence arrives in Australia, last stop in Asia

Indonesia has a commercial superavit of some 13 billion dollars with the United States and is one of 16 countries that Trump called to investigate at the beginning of this month due to the uneven trade relations. A series of disputes between Indonesia and American firms has also ruffled ties.

Pence arrived in Jakarta late on Wednesday from Japan where he reassured Tokyo of a US commitment to rein in North Korea's nuclear and missile ambitions.

As leader of the world's most populous Muslim nation, Indonesian President Joko Widodo has voiced worries about Trump's immigration policy, which critics say is biased against Muslims.

Vice President Mike Pence continued his trip to Asia Friday with a stop in Jakarta where he announced $10 billion military and energy deal with the nation. The pact did not include Indonesia, with whom the U.S.

Indonesia's Investment Coordinating Board chief Tom Lembong said Widodo agreed "we still have too many regulations, too many barriers to trade, and these are bad for local and worldwide industries". "Obviously they lead with China".

His visit represents the most high-profile outreach to Muslims by the Donald Trump administration since the brash billionaire came to office and echoes a similar trip by Barack and Michelle Obama in 2010. "The United States is proud to partner with Indonesia. You need imports to boost exports". Jakarta also scrubbed JP Morgan from its list of primary bond dealers after what was deemed a negative research report.

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Some U.S. companies have a technological edge while Indonesia has a rising demand for power, "so that's a good fit", Neumann told Reuters.

Trump's executive order does not include Indonesia, but the country is home to almost 14,000 refugees seeking resettlement in third countries and activists have said the ban would affect their ability of entering the U.S.

"The people of Indonesia can be confident in the wake of this latest attack: We will not relent in our effort to end terrorism and the threat it presents to both of our peoples", Pence said.

Indonesia has long struggled with Islamic militancy, and in January a year ago suffered a suicide and gun attack claimed by the Islamic State group that left four assailants and four civilians dead.

But Pence struck a starkly different tone during his visit to Indonesia, which has often been praised as a successful Muslim democracy where most practice a moderate form of Islam and coexist peacefully with substantial religious minorities. But in a sign of Indonesian diversity, the mosque is directly opposite a Catholic cathedral in central Jakarta.

Indonesia is on Trump's trade hit list of nations that he considers the U.S.is losing out to in trade, and USA company Freeport-McMoran Inc., which operates the world's largest copper mine in the Indonesian province of Papua, is in a protracted dispute with the Indonesian government. That plan, however, remains stalled in courts and hasn't gone into effect.


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