On the campaign trail and throughout his presidency, Donald Trump often confidently boasted about his deal-making abilities. The president’s perceived image of a deal-maker has been, perhaps permanently, tainted by the latest government shutdown fiasco.
After shutting the government down in an effort to secure funding for a border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, and causing the longest and most expensive government shutdown in United States history, Trump accomplished next to nothing. All of his offers were rejected, and in the end — after claiming that he would never cave — the president caved and temporarily reopened the government, threatening national emergency if his request isn’t fulfilled.
This prompted politicians from across the spectrum, journalists, media personalities, and even some of Trump’s closest allies and strongest supporters to criticize him for the fiasco. As detailed by a previous Inquisitr report, co-author of Trump’s landmark best-seller The Art of the Deal, Tony Schwartz, described the president as a “terrible” negotiator and a “failure.”
Experts share Schwartz’s opinion.
In an effort to analyze Donald Trump’s deal-making abilities and talents, Vice reached out to a handful of negotiation experts.
Richard Shell, a legal studies and business ethics and management professor at Wharton, told the publication that there are two keys to analyzing and understanding Trump’s deal-making abilities, with the primary one being taking into consideration the fact that Trump “didn’t really negotiate that much himself” throughout his career. His lawyers handled that aspect of the business themselves.
“When you are deeply and utterly suspicious of other people, always, even the ones who have been your friends that are close to you, that makes the whole world pretty transactional.”
Senior fellow at Harvard’s Negotiation Project Josh Weiss told Vice that Trump’s style doesn’t work because he fails to consider all parties involved. During the shutdown, according to Weiss, Trump’s position was clear, but his motivations were not. This is why the president “painted himself into a corner,” and is now essentially forced to deliver because the wall was one of his main campaign promises.
According to the co-author of Getting to Yes, William Ury, public pressure is what made Trump cave. Although not a good negotiator, Donald Trump has a unique skill, according to Ury. President Trump is “extremely talented at framing things as a victory even though, for other people, it wouldn’t seem that way.”
Perhaps giving credence to Ury’s theory that Trump is talented at framing loses as victories is the president’s January 25 tweet. After failing to negotiate a deal and being ridiculed for it, Trump wrote that his decision to reopen the government was “in no way a concession,” but that he simply wanted to “take care” of millions of people impacted by the shutdown.