Trump Plays 'Art Of The Deal' With Bordering Nations Over NAFTA Threats

In business circles, there’s a negotiating ploy that several heavy hitters rely on time and again. The ploy calls for you to ask for the moon in order to insure that you walk away with what you really want. President Donald Trump was certainly considered a heavy hitter back in his private sector days, and it looks like he’s carrying some of those same tactics over to his role as commander-in-chief.

As the Chicago Tribune reports, eyebrows were raised across the board when Trump threatened to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement. NAFTA has been in place since 1994, and it essentially creates a trilateral trade bloc between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Trump has previously noted that the agreement is not in the best interests of the US, and it doesn’t sound like he’d hesitate to back out if he determined that to be the best option.

"There isn't a day that goes by that the president doesn't discuss some aspect of trade. It's all a continuous activity because trade is so important to the economy, it's so important to the administration's four-point plan, and it's so important to the promises he made during the campaign," said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Alas, Trump’s public posturing actually brought Canada and Mexico back to the table to take a closer look at things.

"I respect both of those people, I like both of those people. They called me up, they said, 'Could we try negotiating?' I said, 'Absolutely, yes.' If we can't come to a satisfactory conclusion, we'll terminate NAFTA," Trump said.

What most observers seem to miss about Trump is that there is a very calculated method to his perceived madness. Taking a hard-line stance on an agreement that he views as lopsided can spur additional concessions to be made that may end up making the agreement more favorable to US interests. That’s negotiating 101, so keep that in mind the next time the press blasts the president for taking a stance that they’re not in agreement with.

Source: Chicago Tribune
Photo: Washington Post Screenshot

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