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Opinion: From dealmaker to deal-breaker

Insights2018-05-11

Donald Trump regarded himself a great dealmaker and even wrote a book about the art of making deals. But since he became president of the United States, he has somehow created a different image of himself – a master deal-breaker. President Trump has nullified more deals made by his predecessors than concluding the deals he has promised. The latest example is Trump’s decision to pull the United States out the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was signed in 2015 to halt Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Other cases included the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Paris Climate Accord at the international level, the North American Free Trade Agreement at the regional level and the trade relations with China on the bilateral level. After President Trump made his announcement to withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal, Iran’s first response was to resume its nuclear program. However, as many countries voiced opposition to the US decision, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran would stick with the deal for now, if the EU, China, Russia and others support it. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaking on Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal during a press conference in Tehran, May 09, 2018 ./ VCG Photo With its allies such as Great Britain, France and Germany as well as the IAEA saying that the JCPOA is working, it’s not clear how Trump could assert the additional leverage needed to get a new and tougher deal with Iran. Pulling out of the JCPOA deal may also result in unintended consequences for the United States. America now has little credibility when it comes to striking deals with any country. This makes it all the more uncertain about the outcome of Trump’s upcoming summit with the DPRK leader Kim Jong UN. The basic obstacle for solving the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula has been mistrust between Washington and Pyongyang. What will happen to Iran will certainly be a lesson for the DPRK? So far, Trump has made no progress in pressing Mexico to pay for building the border wall to strengthen security for the US. Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem has only halted the Isreali-Palestinian peace process. Meanwhile, Trump’s withdrawal from TPP has changed few of the terms agreed upon by Japan and other signatory countries. The Paris Accord is moving forward without American participation. May 8, 2018: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the White House after signing a proclamation declaring his intention to withdraw the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran./ VCG Photo Trump has broken the deals simply because he thinks he can make better deals for America. But the problem is that even if he can shun away from unwanted obligations by breaking deals, his actions are also damaging the credibility of the US government. There are lots of differences between doing business and running a country, but one thing is clear: a businessman must and can bear the consequences of his misjudgment while all the people of a country will suffer if its president makes a mistake. A deal is a deal. Once it is signed, the relevant parties must honor it. If one party stops honoring it, the action is deemed as a breach of obligation. If Trump really believes in democracy, he needs consultations with others to come up with new deals but not a unilateral “withdrawal” from the existing one. If Trump really believes that everybody is created equal, he needs to treat others likewise by respecting rather than bullying others. If Trump really wants to make America great again, he needs to make sure that America honors its commitment first. The looming question now is: even if Trump does sign a deal today, who can be assured that he will not “pull out” of it tomorrow? (CGTN)

Donald Trump regarded himself a great dealmaker and even wrote a book about the art of making deals. But since he became president of the United States, he has somehow created a different image of himself – a master deal-breaker. President Trump has nullified more deals made by his predecessors than concluding the deals he has promised.

The latest example is Trump’s decision to pull the United States out the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was signed in 2015 to halt Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Other cases included the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Paris Climate Accord at the international level, the North American Free Trade Agreement at the regional level and the trade relations with China on the bilateral level.

After President Trump made his announcement to withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal, Iran’s first response was to resume its nuclear program.

However, as many countries voiced opposition to the US decision, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran would stick with the deal for now, if the EU, China, Russia and others support it.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaking on Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal during a press conference in Tehran, May 09, 2018 ./ VCG Photo

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaking on Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal during a press conference in Tehran, May 09, 2018 ./ VCG Photo

With its allies such as Great Britain, France and Germany as well as the IAEA saying that the JCPOA is working, it’s not clear how Trump could assert the additional leverage needed to get a new and tougher deal with Iran.

Pulling out of the JCPOA deal may also result in unintended consequences for the United States. America now has little credibility when it comes to striking deals with any country.

This makes it all the more uncertain about the outcome of Trump’s upcoming summit with the DPRK leader Kim Jong UN.

The basic obstacle for solving the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula has been mistrust between Washington and Pyongyang. What will happen to Iran will certainly be a lesson for the DPRK?

So far, Trump has made no progress in pressing Mexico to pay for building the border wall to strengthen security for the US. Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem has only halted the Isreali-Palestinian peace process.

Meanwhile, Trump’s withdrawal from TPP has changed few of the terms agreed upon by Japan and other signatory countries. The Paris Accord is moving forward without American participation.

 May 8, 2018: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the White House after signing a proclamation declaring his intention to withdraw the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran./ VCG Photo

May 8, 2018: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the White House after signing a proclamation declaring his intention to withdraw the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran./ VCG Photo

Trump has broken the deals simply because he thinks he can make better deals for America. But the problem is that even if he can shun away from unwanted obligations by breaking deals, his actions are also damaging the credibility of the US government.

There are lots of differences between doing business and running a country, but one thing is clear: a businessman must and can bear the consequences of his misjudgment while all the people of a country will suffer if its president makes a mistake.

A deal is a deal. Once it is signed, the relevant parties must honor it. If one party stops honoring it, the action is deemed as a breach of obligation.

If Trump really believes in democracy, he needs consultations with others to come up with new deals but not a unilateral “withdrawal” from the existing one.

If Trump really believes that everybody is created equal, he needs to treat others likewise by respecting rather than bullying others.

If Trump really wants to make America great again, he needs to make sure that America honors its commitment first.

The looming question now is: even if Trump does sign a deal today, who can be assured that he will not “pull out” of it tomorrow?

(CGTN)

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