The Art of the Deal

Well how about that?

The US has agreed to work towards lowering trade barriers with the European Union, Donald Trump said on Wednesday after a meeting with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker.

The two agreed to launch a “new phase” in relations and work towards zero tariffs, the US president said.

They also agreed to increase trade in services and agriculture, including greater US soy bean exports to the EU.

A few weeks ago everyone was in agreement that Trump, by entering into a trade war with the EU, was a complete imbecile who didn’t understand the effects of tariffs. Turns out his actions have brought the EU to the table for some sensible discussions aimed at reducing or eliminating tariffs.

Similarly, everyone thought Trump was a warmongering fool bent on bringing about Armageddon when he took a hardline attitude to North Korea. Only a couple of months later he and Kim Jong-un met in Singapore to discuss an end to the deadlock and denuclearisation.

It’s almost as if Trump has some experience in deal-making, and understands strengths and how to wield them: opening with an aggressive move which throws everyone off balance before getting them around the table and thrashing out a deal. You know, if he does any more of this, he might consider writing a book on it. Journalists and political commentators, on the other hand, might consider heading to the nearest McDonald’s to see if there are any openings.

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14 thoughts on “The Art of the Deal

  1. The Second Coming would have to occur, live streamed on all media, before they would admit that Trump gets anything right or might have some ideas that work.

  2. I wish he were running Brexit. No deal prep would have started in June 2016 and the EU would be begging.

    Mind you the Continuity Remain faction would still hold seats of power and block it wherever possible. Like Hammond refusing to fund prep for no-deal last year.

  3. What amuses me about commentary about the Art of the Deal is that many detractors clearly haven’t read it. It’s a biographical account of his business life up to the date it was written. Most detractors write about it like it’s an instruction manual or a self-help guide (e.g. “it was ghost-written so he doesn’t even know the lessons the book teaches!” Which is so clearly bollocks once you realise it’s an (auto)biography so he very clearly does know those lessons…)

  4. What amuses me about commentary about the Art of the Deal is that many detractors clearly haven’t read it.

    I confess I haven’t, but I’m sure you’re right!

  5. Assume that this works out. Consider also the Canada and Japan deals. The EU is starting to dismantle the customs union!

  6. I read somewhere that he was actually embarrassed about having to do his idiotic early tweets on Rocket Man, all strategically done to serve the media and the war lovers.

    You just know that his latest tweet tirade against Rouhani yet again is intended to keep the Iran haters and Israelis at bay but don’t be surprised if they have a summit next year.

    For me the best of all was his tweets following the fake Syrian gas attacks about “Assad the Gas Killing Animal”. Followed by bombing an empty field after they told the Russians they were about to. Next minute he stops supporting ISIS and the next month he supports Assad the lion.

    The real art here is that he manages to somehow keep the warmongers at bay, this is what I admire most in him. Not something easily done either.

    I am still somewhat hopeful that the whole Mueller thing is another one of his masterstrokes, and that Mueller is actually a good guy after the real bad guys and the whole Russian collusion thing is just a cover to enable him to get in amongst them.

  7. Andrew Again:

    “I wish he were running Brexit.”

    Agreed. When he was in the UK, I thought the country was safer. It’s probably worth spending a few billion in consultancy fees for him to phone May every evening and shout at her.

  8. “Journalists and political commentators, on the other hand, might consider heading to the nearest McDonald’s to see if there are any openings”

    There aren’t, it’s all getting automated because they have succeeded in their propaganda of higher minimal wages.

    But I would not hold my breath about the “new phase”. Juncker is probably off to the opening of another Karl Marx monument somewhere, and it’s anyone’s guess how much of the agreement to try to reach an agreement he remembers afterwards.

  9. His book title cleverly exploited The Art of War, a leadership book that Trump recommends. He does use Sun Tzu techniques very well as do most successful US executives.

  10. Tim, where is your usual forensic knife diving into the knitty gritty of this “deal”, admittedly you do it on much more serious issues of various women’s dating lives, but just what has been actually agreed?

    No comment on why soybeans warrant a particular mention either, it can’t be because he’s gone and pissed off the largest market for US soybeans. The ones who are now looking to brazil instead and that he’s tanked the soybean price

    Sounds as successful as the Korea “deal” , the one where U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently commented “Yes, that’s correct … Yes, they continue to produce fissile material.”

    It sure looks like someone came ahead in this deal but it doesn’t look like Trump.

  11. It sure looks like someone came ahead in this deal but it doesn’t look like Trump.

    See Recusant’s comment.

  12. “They also agreed to increase trade in services and agriculture, including greater US soy bean exports to the EU.”

    An interesting result. 94% of US soybeans are genetically modified, so the EU has conceded an important principle. Of course, the principle was idiotic from the start: scientific consensus on AGM (danger!) good, scientific consensus on GM food (harmless) bad. But this is still an important victory for Trump.

  13. @Sam Vara on July 26, 2018

    It would be pointless trying to get Trump to talk to May. Even he can’t educate pork.

  14. Sounds as successful as the Korea “deal”

    Well:

    North Korea has returned remains believed to be of 55 US troops killed during the Korean War, bringing renewed hope to families who have waited decades for closure.

    The return of the remains, brought to a US base in South Korea, is the latest move in the cautious diplomacy between Washington and Pyongyang.

    The repatriation was agreed at the June summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.

    Now perhaps you may dismiss the return of remains as being trivial, but it is progress nonetheless – and none of his predecessors managed it.

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