Here's What the Impact of a Trump Administration Will Be on Asia

Editors' pick: Originally published Nov. 11.

American elections normally don't get much attention in Asia.

Americans keep buying Asian-made goods regardless of who is president. And in trying to delay China's inevitable rise for as long as it can, the U.S. has been trying to maintain the region's geopolitical balance in its favor.

But it is different this time for Asia.

It remains to be seen if President-elect Donald J. Trump will follow through with everything he has said on the campaign trail. But if he does, it will mean trouble for Asia.

That means that it might be more difficult to find investment opportunities in Asia.

"We can't continue to allow China to rape our country," Trump said during the election campaign.

He has repeatedly said that one of the first things he would do as president is designate China as a currency manipulator. This designation is applied to countries that weaken their currency on purpose to make their exports cheaper and more competitive.

If this happens, the U.S. could put duties on "artificially cheap" Chinese imports.

Closely tied to this, Trump would like to see U.S.-China trade "reform."

In his opinion, the trade relationship between the two countries is balanced in China's favor, and he would like to tilt the balance back in the U.S.' favor.

Trump has said that China breaks the rules of international trade, steals commercial secrets, manipulates its currency and has been taking American jobs.

If Trump's proposed policies are enacted it could result in a U.S.-China trade war.

That would result in more tariffs and quotas on each others exports and imports, and history has shown that trade wars hurt everyone involved and result in a negative economic spiral.

In American history, the best example of how higher tariffs affect an economy is the Smoot-Hawley tariff bill of 1930. It raised tariffs on wide range of goods.

Other countries started doing the same thing, and world trade dropped 66% within four years.

The Smoot-Hawley tariffs were a major factor that contributed to the Great Depression and, indirectly, to World War II.

The Republican Party has been the pro-business, pro-free trade party for decades. But Trump has changed that.

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