Asia is looking ahead with a little trepidation. As Donald Trump moves into the White House this weekend, observers throughout the region are wondering whether America's new president will deliver exactly what he promised during his election campaign. If so, Asia will feel the pinch -- not merely from his more protectionist trade agenda, but financially as well, with rising geopolitical tensions possibly thrown in for good measure. And yet, if Trump takes a more pragmatic turn, living up to his reputation as a businessman who "cuts deals," Asia and the world might be better off. There is still cause for hope among regional leaders that pragmatism will prevail.
There are plenty of pressure points in Asia. Start with Trump's idea for a substantial U.S. fiscal stimulus. All considered, America's economy is already growing at a respectable speed, with the unemployment rate well below 5% and wage growth ticking up recently.