January 2022
AIIB ASEAN ASEAN (R) ASEAN-ISIS Asia Beijing Big Tech CH: Hong Kong Country (R): Indonesia Country (R): Malaysia Country (R): Myanmar Country (R): Singapore Country: ASEAN Country: Australia Country: Cambodia Country: China Country: Germany Country: India Country: Indonesia Country: Japan Country: Laos Country: Malaysia Country: Myanmar Country: North Korea Country: Philippines Country: Qatar Country: Russia Country: Singapore Country: South Korea Country: Taiwan Country: Thailand Country: UK Country: United States Country: US Country: USA Country: Vietnam covid-19 DE: 5G DE: Data privacy DE: Data security DE: e-Payments DE: Facebook Elections: Indonesia 2019 Elections: Thailand 2019 ESG: Climate Change ESG: Diversity ESG: Energy ESG: Green Finance ESG: Green Growth ESG: Haze ESG: Human Rights ESG: Modern Slavery ESG: Peatland ESG: Riau ESG: Smallholders ESG: Sustainability ESG: Sustainable/Green Infrastructure European Union Event: SDSWR Events: AAF Fukushima Global Citizens Singapore Google Indonesia: Jokowi Institute: ERIA Institute: SIIA JP: Abenomics Leaders: Kim Jong Un Leaders: Lee Hsien Loong Megatrends: Populism MM: Aung San Suu Kyi MM: NLD MM: Rakhine State MY: Anwar Ibrahim MY: GE14 MY: Mahathir Mohamad MY: Najib Razak New Horizons New Zealand Nicholas Fang Oh Ei Sun Region: Latin America Region: Middle East Reports Security: South China Sea Security: Terrorism SG: Lee Kuan Yew SG: SG Secure SG: Smart Nation SG: Society Simon Tay Sustainable infrastructure Topic (R): Belt and Road Topic (R): Business Topic (R): Digitisation Topic (R): Economy Topic (R): Green Finance Topic (R): Haze Topic (R): Infrastructure Topic (R): Palm Oil Topic (R): Peatland Topic (R): Smallholders Topic (R): Sustainability Topic: Anti-Globalisation Topic: Belt and Road Topic: Business Topic: Coronavirus Topic: COVID-19 Topic: Deforestation Topic: Development Topic: Digital Economy Topic: Digitisation Topic: E-Commerce Topic: Economics Topic: Economy Topic: Elections Topic: Environment Topic: ESG Topic: Finance Topic: Global Citizens Topic: Globalisation Topic: Human Trafficking Topic: Indo-Pacific Topic: Infrastructure Topic: Investment Topic: Labour Topic: Nuclear Topic: Palm Oil Topic: Race Topic: Regional Integration Topic: Religion Topic: Security Topic: Singapore-Malaysia Relations Topic: Small States Topic: Trade Trade: AEC Trade: CPTPP Trade: FTA Trade: Multilateralism Trade: RCEP Trade: TPP Trade: War Trends (Digital): Cybersecurity UK: Brexit United States US: Obama US: Trump US: Trump WEF youth

The New US Leadership: Implications for Asia

17 Aug The New US Leadership: Implications for Asia

In November, the United States will select its next President. How is the race shaping up? What are the implications for the rest of the world?

On Wednesday 17 August, we hosted three leading commentators from across the political spectrum: Kyle D. Kondik, Director of Communications, Center for Politics, University of Virginia, Frank Lavin, Chairman and CEO, Export Now, who was also a former US Ambassador to Singapore, and Steven Okun, Vice Chairman, Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC). The talk was moderated by SIIA Chairman Simon Tay.


Date/Time: Aug 17, 2016 | 5:30pm – 7:00pm
Venue: SIIA Office: 60A Orchard Road #04-03 Tower 1 The Atrium @Orchard, International Involvement Hub, Singapore 238890

The 2016 US Presidential race hangs in the balance, with sharp implications for US foreign policy and for Asia in particular. Would Asia be able to maintain trade, investment and business relations with an administration led by Republican nominee Donald Trump? Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton has pledged to continue US engagement with Asia and uphold America’s alliances – is a Clinton presidency the choice for stability?

The Singapore Institute of International Affairs is pleased to present three leading authorities on US politics and foreign policy, who will discuss the view on the ground amongst Americans, potential game changers for the election, and what this means for the Asian region.

  • Have the candidates managed to consolidate support among their own parties, and how are they faring among swing voters?
  • What can we expect from a Trump or Clinton administration?
  • How do Asian governments and companies perceive both candidates, and what do Asians want from the new US President?


Mr. Kyle Kondik, Director of Communications, Center for Politics, University of Virginia
Mr. Steven Okun, Vice Chairman, Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC)
Mr. Frank Lavin, Former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Singapore, and Former White House Political Director

Moderator: Associate Prof. Simon Tay, Chairman, Singapore Institute of International Affairs

US Leadership

Likely Outcomes

At present, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is leading polls in the high single digits in enough states to take victory in November. “The point is we see a stable race where Clinton’s leading,” said Mr. Kondik. “[Trump’s] losing, and he’s losing by more than a little bit.”


Earlier in the race, Republican nominee Donald Trump enjoyed a surge of popularity as a protest candidate, someone who captured the frustration of many voters. “But he has failed to make that journey from a protest candidate to one which is more broadly acceptable,” Mr. Lavin said.

Is it possible that Mr. Trump could make a course correction? The difficulty for Mr. Trump is that his missteps and controversies have a cumulative effect, making a comeback more difficult.

In theory, Mr. Trump could have posed a stronger challenge to Ms. Clinton by making the election a referendum on the incumbent administration – essentially what she represents is a third term for Mr. Obama. But the race has instead become a referendum on Mr. Trump.

Impact on Foreign Policy

Elections in the United States have historically been more about domestic issues. Both candidates have focused on the domestic impacts of foreign policy, perhaps more so than in previous elections. This makes it hard to project the impact of either candidates’ victory on Asia, though Ms. Clinton is of course more traditional in her views on what foreign policy entails.


That said, one major issue for US relations with Asia and other countries is the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The issue has become toxic, with both Republican and Democrat candidates now voicing opposition to the deal.

“There is no way either [Trump or Clinton] is going to come in and sign the TPP in one of their first acts as President. Which means if it doesn’t get done in this Congress – and this Congress ends on January 5th – it will not pass for the next few years,” said Mr. Okun.

What would happen if the US does not ratify the TPP? Trade liberalisation in the region will still move forward, but the US will be on the outside looking in. It will also do harm to US credibility, as American diplomats have spent the past few years asking other countries for concessions in order to get the TPP passed, only to fail in actually getting it through the US Congress.

Photo Credit: SIIA