Consequences of A Lifetime of Negotiations Geared to Screw Counterparties

Consequences of A Lifetime of Negotiations Geared to Screw Counterparties

I have learned a lot in my life as a negotiator doing deals all around the world.  The most important thing that I have learned is that the best result that I can possibly want in a negotiation is for my counterparties to walk away feeling like they got a fair deal, a good deal.  I never want to see my counterparty feel like he or she has been screwed.  I don’t want see them walk away feeling completely dejected and abused at the end of a negotiating session.   This is because I know that one day the shoe might be on the other foot, or at the very least one day I am going to want to break bread with them.

Although I am not originally from New York, I have lived in New York for many decades now and have been through a lengthy divorce (also in this City).  In my life I have seen two places where the negotiating rules that I live by are clearly violated by hardened New Yorkers.  One is in New York real estate where the assumption is that your purchaser is shit out of luck as soon as the ink dries, and the other is in divorce Court where New Yorkers routinely go for the jugular.

In addition to being entirely unfit and psychologically unstable, our current President’s entire life is built not around doing international deals, but operating only in these two settings.   He knows nothing other than screwing counterparties, and he has now turned on even our closest allies (Italy, Korea, Japan, Mexico and Canada) by vitiating trade and defense agreements. 

US diplomacy in the past has been based on those same ideals that I apply in my own negotiations.  A good friend’s son recently asked why everything cannot all be rolled back in 4 years when we normalize our country.  Unfortunately, our allies aren’t going to forget this Presidency quickly or forgive us for the fact that we allowed this coup d’etat to occur.  They are going to be waiting for payback for generations to come.

Image: Associated Press

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