After the election of Donald Trump as US President, it has been said that his protectionist stance is bad for open, trade-reliant economies like Singapore. But what is trade? My idea of trade has stagnated since the secondary school days, when we learnt that Singapore had a thriving entrepot business due to its strategic location at the southern tip of the Straits of Malacca. Thus, if it is just the port business that is affected by protectionism, then it is not a very big deal, isn’t it?
 
However, on further thoughts, trade is not just about the port business. When we buy goods from the supermarket or shop online from Amazon or Taobao, that is trade. When we watch the Premier League on TV, that is also trade. As investors, when our companies such as Keppel Corp builds and delivers an oil rig to the Gulf of Mexico, that is …