GCTL8.com (FocusAsia Media Ltd)

Maersk Line

WASHINGTON, Nov 12 (FAM) – Deciphering the policies of US President-elect Donald Trump was no easy task in an election campaign built on bluster and ‘sound-bites’. But on trade relations, at least, there were enough pronouncements to suggest that a new era of US economic protectionism could be about to dawn.

Indeed, if his various statements are taken at face value, Trump seems committed to realigning the trading landscape and regulatory environment. “(Mr) Trump’s protectionist policies may prove another big step back [following so recently after Brexit] in the gradual unwinding of goods globalisation that has defined the past 30 years,” said a note from investment analyst Nomura, quoting Lloyd’s List.

Among his first targets seems likely to be the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a wide-ranging trade deal involving 12 Pacific Rim nations that has been signed by President Obama but not yet ratified by Congress. While campaigning, Trump claimed TPP was a “disaster” that would only benefit special interests.