World trade can only work if it is a network that is open and free. My own study of Sri Lanka and the Indian Ocean shows that two networks are needed. A network of harbors along the commercial routes, with networks behind for the penetration of goods. And a network of shipping alliances. TPP could have been the chance the USA needed to enter these networks that exist without the Americans, and to start developing shipping companies at 18,000 TEU level or now above on one hand, and harbors able to deal with these ships at global speed. Trump is acknowledging the USA are not at this level and thus he steps out. That’s childish and ridiculous. If you do not know how to ride e bicycle because you have never had one, you do not order your parents not to buy one for you or you do not refuse the bike your friends may lend to you. That’s exactly what Trump does. In other words, he will never be able to ride a bike, I mean a global free trade maritime network that will prosper without him.

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Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, PhD in Germanic Linguistics (University Lille III) and ESP Teaching (University Bordeaux II) has been teaching all types of ESP

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