Speaking at the UBS’s Wealth Insights Conference yesterday (Jan 16), the head of Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) warned US President Donald Trump from implementing trade policies to protect US jobs that could create a “trade war”.
Calling the US President’s new policies “protectionist”, MAS chief Ravi Menon warned that other countries like Singapore may engage in “retaliatory measures”:
“Rejecting a US-Pacific trade deal, extra taxes on US importers and labelling major trade partners as currency manipulators — may well attract retaliatory measures.”
Already feeling sore from the collapse of the Trans-Pacific Pact (TPP), Singapore government is getting increasingly worried from the incoming US President who will be inaugurated this week (Jan 20). In his speech on Nov 2016, US President Donald Trump said that he will withdraw from TPP and renegotiate trade deals to protect jobs for Americans.
Singapore is now increasingly isolated recently, following its public spat with China over the territorial claims on the South China Sea. Following the fallout, China has since invested S$14 billion in Malacca Gateway and S$17.8 billion in the East Coast railway in Johor Malaysia, and a new plan to support a S$64 billion project in a trading port near capital Kuala Lumpur. In what seems like an economic offense, not even a fraction of of those billions are invested in Singapore’s ailing economy.
Diplomatically, Singapore is faring badly with United States as well, as the superpower refuse to support the US ally when their armoured vehicles were detained by China. The current Singapore administration was very critical of Donald Trump during the US election campaign period, and has few good words for the new president.