Prospect of Trump tariffs unnerves Asian investors
Trade barriers against any one country would be felt across interconnected region
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JANUARY 19, 2017 by: Jennifer Hughes in Hong Kong Look out of the window as you fly into Singapore and hundreds of ships will be visible below. Situated near the Malacca Straits, this comes as no surprise and vividly illustrates the importance of shipping — and by extension trade — to Asia. The region connects with four of the world’s five busiest shipping routes and, led by China, is home to nine of the top 10 container ports. Singapore’s crowded moorings include long-term “parked” ships awaiting an upturn in global trade as well as those in transit. Now, with the inauguration of Donald Trump as US president looming on Friday, markets have begun to analyse the potential impact of his proposals for eye-popping tariffs as well as measures put forward by other Republicans. Asia’s reliance on trade means the region is highly vulnerable to any change in the world order.