Donald Trump holds up his book ‘The Art of the Deal’, given to him by a fan, as he speaks during a campaign stop Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala.
Eric Schultz | AP
A passage from Donald Trump’s 1987 business book gives some insight about how he will approach policy negotiations as president.
The president-elect declared far-reaching, often divisive or even constitutionally questionable goals on the campaign trail. Trump has set his sights on one of his biggest goals — getting American companies to keep jobs in the United States — even before his inauguration, and is basking in United Technologies’ decision to keep some of the jobs it planned to move to Mexico in Indiana.
An excerpt from his book “The Art of the Deal” shows how he might have approached the United Technologies talks and could face others moving forward.
My style of deal-making is quite simple and straightforward. I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I’m after. Sometimes I settle for less than I sought, but in most cases I still end up with what I want.
Trump often boasts about his negotiating ability and claimed on the campaign trail that his business past gave him the skills needed to strike better deals for the U.S. He may face a tough task if he tries to go after some of his more divisive campaign targets, like building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and prosecuting Hillary Clinton for her handling of classified information while secretary of state.
Though Trump sets far-reaching goals, he may not always get the deal he wants. For example, while United Technologies unit Carrier will keep roughly 1,000 jobs in Indiana, the state had to agree to give the company $7 million in financial incentives. Carrier still plans to move other jobs to Mexico as well.
In another instance, Trump repeatedly said he would not settle fraud lawsuits against his now-defunct Trump University seminars, claiming he would win the case in court. However, just after his election, Trump agreed to end the case for $25 million, claiming he settled it “for a small fraction of the potential award because as president, I have to focus on our country.”
Trump’s negotiating style as president is also clouded by the fact that it’s often unclear exactly what he wants. Trump contradicted himself on key policy positions often during his campaign, sometimes doing so several times in a day.
Just since his election, Trump has said he would consider keeping two key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, after campaigning on the promise that he would “repeal and replace” the law. He also appeared hesitant to prosecute Clinton, after saying that he planned to at campaign rallies and a presidential debate.