Bipartisan Dealmaking: Are Trump’s Negotiation Skills Up to the Challenge?

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Are President Trump’s negotiation skills effective enough to achieve significant bipartisan deals with the incoming House Democratic majority? He certainly thinks so, saying at his post-election press conference that“it’s all about deal making” with the new Democratic majority. Likely House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also said post-election that negotiation will be crucial to getting much passed over the next two years. So does President Trump have great negotiation skills, and will they get much accomplished?

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Why Trump’s Trade War Negotiation Threats Won’t Work

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Donald Trump has bet that his negotiation brilliance and trade threats will enable him to out-negotiate China, Mexico, Canada, Germany, the U.K., Japan, and the list goes on. He has also bet they will all cave before his escalating tariffs cause irreparable damage to the U.S. economy. Unfortunately, despite his trade “deal” with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the new NAFTA deal – positive steps in these trade wars - Trump’s risky threat-based trade war negotiation strategy will almost certainly fail.

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Lessons from the Father of Alternative Dispute Resolution

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My Harvard Law School professor and mentor Frank Sander recently passed away after a long and brilliant career in the dispute resolution field. A co-founder of the Harvard Program on Negotiation in 1979, many of us learned an enormous amount from Sander the scholar and Sander the person. Here are a few of our lessons learned, applicable to negotiations and to life.

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Trump’s Negotiation Lessons – Part 3

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Donald Trump sometimes negotiates well - and sometimes poorly. In my last two columns based on my new book The Real Trump Deal: An Eye-Opening Look at How He Really Negotiates, I described Trump’s effective and ineffective techniques related to goals, preparation, patience, leverage and offer-concessions.

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Trump’s Negotiation Lessons – Part 2

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Donald Trump bought his beautiful Florida estate Mar-a-Lago – originally listed at $28 million - for $5 million plus $3 million for its antiques and valuable furnishings. And he received a $10 million non-recorded mortgage from Chase Manhattan Bank to buy it. He only paid $2,800 down. Wow! How did he get such a great deal from the seller, the Marjorie Merriweather Post Foundation (Mar-a-Lago was built by Post, one of the world’s richest women in 1927)?

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