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Crunch Time

Is Donald Trump a masterful negotiator or an unqualified bumbler? The truth likely lies somewhere in between, but we want to avoid closed-mindedness here and accept the possibility that a mercurial president can secure a beneficial agreement by means of wrong-footing the other side’s negotiators. In any case, we’re going to find out. Deadlines on important diplomatic and trade agreements are approaching, and we should soon know if Trump’s famed skills in negotiating sweet deals in New York real estate can be translated to the White House.
Trump outlined his strategy, recall, in his 1987 book The Art of the Deal: “My style of deal-making is quite simple and straightforward,” he wrote. “I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I’m after.” He also expressed a disdain for deep analysis in favor of off-the-cuff self-reliance: “I don’t hire a lot of number-crunchers, and I don’t trust fancy marketing surveys. I do my own surveys and dr…
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