MIT Professor Larry Susskind, Co-founder and Vice-chair of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, shared his thoughts on “The Real Trump Deal.”
Marty Latz has dissected President Trump’s deal-making skills — both as a businessman and as President of the United States. After looking closely at many of Trump’s business deals, Latz concludes that Trump’s highly competitive and self-centered approach to negotiation worked pretty well on occasion, but only when all the necessary pre-conditions were in place. When they weren’t, Trump wasn’t able to modify his negotiation strategy and tactics appropriately. Thus, many of his business deals turned out badly, and he went bankrupt.

Based on a close look at the major negotiations that took place during Trump’s first year as President (including his attempts to “repeal and replace” Obamacare and get the Mexicans to pay for a wall), Latz explains why Trump failed to achieve his objectives: he relied on deal-making tactics from the business world that are utterly inappropriate in the political world. Presidential negotiations involve repeated interactions in which problem-solving, trust-building and a variety of other multi-party negotiating considerations are important. In all likelihood, Trump will fail again and again until he realizes that the business deal-making skills he relied on in the past are ineffective in the situations he now finds himself. I credit Latz with offering an even-handed account of Trump’s negotiation successes and failures others can learn from.


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