Will Donald Trump Curtail US Imports from Asia?

Frustration with the effects of globalization and a trade imbalance between the US and some Asian countries helped propel Donald Trump’s election to the presidency, according to a recent report in Forbes.


His victory has ignited fears that it will indeed translate into a real decrease in trade, and may explain the widespread fall of the shares of Asian exporters. This is not very surprising, considering Mr. Trump’s strong opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement. However, some Asian traders are skeptical that the US will actually decrease imports, saying that globalization is simply too entrenched to reverse with protectionist policies. For one thing, paying higher prices would be very unpopular with American consumers.


Mr. Trump’s plans to stop outsourcing also may run into problems. Narayana Murthy, founder of Indian IT firm Infosys, says that outsourcing helps America’s corporations to succeed, and thereby create more jobs.


The author of the article says he is skeptical that a president who wants to double growth would be able to do this by carrying out the policies that Mr. Trump has promoted on the campaign trail. As a matter of practicality, he will likely have to moderate his previous stance significantly. As evidence of this, the author points to Mr. Trump’s recent reassurance to South Korea’s president that America’s alliance with his country will remain strong during his administration. The negative reaction of Asian markets is seen as a short term reaction to a surprising outcome, and not a long term change in the assessment of future trade relations with the US.