Donald Trump has been notoriously famous for his penchant for trying to gain maximum benefits in deals by bullying his business partners. He packed all his negotiating strategies and tactics in his book “The Art of The Deal,” published in 1987 by himself and journalist Tony Schwartz.
Despite Trump’s own trumpeting of the book, it received a mixture of praise and criticism. At the time of publication, Publishers Weekly called it a “boastful, boyishly disarming, thoroughly engaging personal history.”
The comments on his book aside, we must admit that Trump, as the shrewd businessman that he is, is an expert at business negotiation. One of the best examples of his business acuity is his purchase of Mar-a-Lago, his private resort.
In 1982, he first bid US$15 million for the 126-room, 5,800-square-meter mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, while the seller called for US$25 million. Knowing that other buyers made higher bids than his, instead of raising his offer, he lowered his bid every time the owner failed in a deal with other competitors. Incredibly, he got the massive estate in US$5 million cash plus US$3 million for interior furniture in 1985.
He is proficient in every trick for taking advantage of his business rivals, including playing hardball, bluffing, coercing, sowing discord among his rivals, feigning madness when necessary, and sometimes dropping smoke bombs.
His constant success from his erratic way of “doing business” has apparently resulted in an adrenaline rush for him and he loves applying the same tactics to international relations.
It is in this way, however, that he proves himself to be penny wise and pound foolish, as he fails to understand that not everything is negotiable, especially with China.
Like a maniac, he disregards all the international organizations and international obligations his country signed and imposes ridiculous tariffs on imported goods from EU, Japan Mexico, and South Korea.
But when he tried to play the same trick on China in the hope of fleecing China as he did with other nations, he has found himself banging his head against an impregnable wall.
Ignoring the fact that the issues of U.S. trade deficits and loss of jobs in manufacturing are chiefly the results of America’s over-borrowing, rising labor costs and automation, Trump made groundless accusation against China of unfair trade and theft of American intellectual property and threatened to impose up to US$150 billion tariffs on Chinese goods.
China has responded with reciprocal measures firmly and swiftly! The country has sent a clear message to Trump: China will fight to the end at any cost. This means China would rather sacrifice all trade with the U.S. than submit to Trump’s despotic power.
Calculation of gains and losses giving way to dignity and moral integrity has always been China’s bottom line, so he will never win any war with China, however great his “art of the deal.” It has nothing to do with business.
Over the past 40 years, China has been committed to embracing globalization and free trade regardless of external changes.
On April 10, while delivering a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference, President Xi Jinping announced that China would launch a number of landmark measures this year to further broaden its market access.
Trump’s desire to reduce American trade deficit and expand sales of American goods to China can only be achieved through fair negotiation with China, not with a ludicrous “art of the deal.”
The interesting thing is that the People’s Daily said China’s new measures will not apply to those who launch trade wars against other countries.
(The author is an English tutor and freelance writer.)