30 August 2020
South-east Asia has had a wild ride in President Donald Trump’s first term. On his very first day in office, Mr Trump pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free trade agreement that would have been the largest in the world had it materialised. The trade-dependent economies were rocked again when he launched a trade war with China, the largest trading partner for most regional economies.
“Trump is renowned for his unpredictability, his officials are a mix of ideologues and hardliners – that’s not particularly encouraging towards cooling tensions with China,” says Professor Dr Joseph Liow, Research Adviser, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies and Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at the Nanyang Technological University.
“The region is familiar with Biden because of the Obama years. He is likely to return US foreign policy making to a more familiar approach. But the beating of the drums on China is going to continue. The world has changed substantively since the Obama administration,” he adds.
GPO / RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 01/09/2020