One of Donald Trump’s winning themes on the campaign trail was the notion that nobody was better suited to getting a better deal from China than the man who literally wrote a book on how to win at the negotiating table—his 1987 business memoir, “The Art of the Deal.” But from what we’re seeing so far, any Trump wins will be no more than tactical, while the Chinese are more likely to succeed over the long term.
Trump will meet this week with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago, the sprawling Florida resort he’s branded the “Southern White House.” In comments and tweets ahead of the summit, the U.S. president has signaled it will be a “very difficult” meeting because he will go after China’s aggressive trade policies and seek to hold Beijing to account for failing to crack down on North Korea. Over the coming months, Trump may be about to learn some harsh lessons in foreign policy deal making.
James Baker, one of the most effective secretaries of state in U.S. history, had a famous mantra: “Prior preparation prevents poor performance.” From all evidence, however, the Trump administration seems woefully unready to handle a summit of this magnitude. The United States and China are the two most powerful countries in the world. Their relationship is layered and complex, and there’s no sign the president is approaching this task with the seriousness and sophistication it requires.
Read the full article at Politico.