US, Indonesia seek to cut trade barriers

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Pence said that the United States and UK Chambers of Commerce and Industry would not only strengthen economic ties with Indonesia but also with a number of countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

Mr. Pence also highlighted what he said were more than $10 billion in trade and investment deals being signed by 11 US companies, though at least some reflect business over the past year or pending deals.

"President Trump's hostile pronouncements on Islam and Muslims have done considerable damage to his reputation in the Islamic world".

Vice President Mike Pence toured Southeast Asia's largest mosque Thursday during a stop in Indonesia, and praised the largest Muslim-majority country's traditionally moderate religious stance as "an inspiration to the world".

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Australia is beginning with a reaffirmation of the two allies' strong ties.

It came ahead of a visit by Pence to the largest mosque in Indonesia, which has the world's biggest Muslim population, where he will hold a multi-faith dialogue.

The vice president is the first senior Trump administration official to visit Australia.

In his opening remarks to the meeting, Mr Pence said he and US President Donald Trump regarded the free trade agreement signed by Australia and the US in 2005 as an excellent model and a "win-win" for both countries who share a $US1.5 trillion relationship.

US home sales shoot up to 10-year high
In the Northeast, existing-home sales jumped 10.1 percent to an annual rate of 760,000 million, up 4.1 percent from a year ago. Recent gains in pending home sales, which lead existing-home sales by a few months, had signaled a rebound in existing sales.

"These deals represent the tremendous excitement that American companies feel about opportunities in Indonesia", Pence said.

"I bring greetings this morning from president of the United States".

After taking office, Trump was infuriated upon learning that the previous Obama administration had agreed to a refugee resettlement deal with Australia.

Reports also indicate that talks will tackle into trade and how companies are taxed between Australia and the US.

The fallout has left relations between the US and Australia at their lowest point since the Vietnam War, when Australia's then-Prime Minister Gough Whitlam criticized a series of bombings authorized by then-President Richard Nixon.

More than two months after President Donald Trump got into a spat with Turnbull, Vice President Mike Pence will be working to smooth over any lingering hard feelings with the longtime United States ally.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has touched down in Sydney for a whirlwind visit Down Under on the final leg of his Asia-Pacific tour.

During a meeting at a Jakarta hotel Friday where the deals were announced, Pence told business leaders that he and President Joko Widodo had "very candidly and very respectfully" discussed how to improve market access for USA firms in Indonesia when they held talks.

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