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Presidential hopeful Tan Kin Lian – Donald Trump and protectionist world good for Singapore

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Predicting that Donald Trump will be the next President of America, ushering in an era of protectionism, former head of NTUC Income and Presidential hopeful, Mr Tan Kin Lian, believes that Singapore will learn to adjust in a more protectionist world.
Trump will “make America great again” and bring jobs back to America, writes Mr Tan on his blog.
“He will create a wall to stop illegal immigration. He will return the Syrian refugees back to their country. He will impose a tax of 35% on cars made in Mexico and exported to America. He will re-negotiate the global trade agreements. He wants to negotiate “smartly”,” he adds.
Mr Tan then analyses the impact of a more protectionist USA on the country itself, and on countries like China, Japan and South Korea, explaining why the size of these countries meant that they can be less reliant on global trade.
Trump is also good for Singapore Mr Tan believes. “We do not really need to bring in many foreigners to serve the global economy or the global financial sector. With a smaller economy due to diminished global trade, we will have less jobs for foreigners. The remaining jobs can be done by Singaporeans,” he said.
Touching on the topic of jobs that Singaporeans “do not like to do”, Mr Tan thinks that Singapore has to follow countries like Germany and Australia and pay higher wages for such jobs to attract locals to it. And not stop there, but also take in a limited number of foreigners who have the ‘technical-know-how’ of the jobs, and offer them permanent residency.
Mr Tan acknowledges that this will lead to higher cost of living in Singapore, which in turn will mean less spending on big-ticket items like houses and cars. The prices of real estate will moderate downwards and that will be a good thing, Mr Tan forecasts.
People not spending as much on ‘big-ticket’ items like houses and cars will also mean that the Singapore Government will have a smaller budget surplus, and force them to re-look the topic of “outrageous salaries to their ministers”, Mr Tan remarked.
“I personally welcome a change to a more protectionist world. It will reduce the income gap in most countries and lead to a more stable society.
“Ordinary people will feel more secure about jobs, the cost of living and the future for their families. They can have a more balanced and happier life.” he concluded.

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