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It's easy to get distracted by the circus of the Trump presidency.For an answer to that question, take a look at three gatherings last week on the other side of the planet.Attended by all the major Asian countries, the ASEAN and East Asia summits in Singapore and the APEC conference in Papua New Guinea are particularly important because countries in the region are trying to navigate the once-in-a-lifetime power shift taking place the rise of China.But the president of the United States is MIA. Donald Trump chose to skip the summits and send Vice President Mike Pence in his place. Trump's continued lack of interest will only feed this fear.We are seeing the Trump effect in the retreat on trade in Asia. Trump pulled America out of the TPP, undermining the pact's goal of giving Asian countries an alternative to a Chinese-dominated system.
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