President Trump, deal maker?
Donald Trump est-il vraiment un bon négociateur ?
Le président américain est-il un bon négociateur ?
Aux Etats-Unis, près de deux ans après l’élection de Donald Trump et à quelques semaines des élections de mi-mandat, l’heure est au bilan. Le président américain, qui a dirigé pendant des années un véritable empire financier, avait mis en avant ses qualités d’homme d’affaires et de fin négociateur lors de sa campagne. Il avait notamment promis de renégocier des traités internationaux plus favorables pour son pays. A-t-il tenu ses promesses ?
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump likes nothing more than presenting himself as the ultimate deal-maker, the master negotiator who can translate his success in business into the worlds of politics, policy and diplomacy. “That’s what I do, is deals,” he [recently] said. 1. deal-maker négociateur / to translate traduire, transposer / policy politique (ligne de conduite); ici, stratégie / deal accord, marché / Except that so far he has not. As he threw in the towel on immigration legislation [last June], saying that Republicans should give up even trying until after the fall midterm elections, Trump once again fell short of his promise to make “beautiful” deals that no other president could make.
2. His 17 months in office have in fact been an exercise in futility for the art-of-the-deal president. No deal on immigration. No deal on health care. No deal on gun control. No deal on spending cuts. No deal on NAFTA. No deal on China trade. No deal on steel and aluminum imports. No deal on Middle East peace. No deal on the Qatar blockade. No deal on Syria. No deal on Russia. No deal on Iran. No deal on climate change. No deal on Pacific trade.
NO ROUTINE DEALS
3. Even routine deals sometimes elude Trump, or he chooses to blow them up. After
to throw, threw, thrown in the towel jeter l'éponge / to give, gave, given up renoncer / even ici, ne serait-ce que / midterm (de) mi-mandat / to fall, fell, fallen short ici, ne pas tenir. 2. in office au pouvoir / health care système de santé / spending cuts réductions des dépenses / NAFTA = North American Free Trade Agreement ALENA (accord de libre-échange nord-américain) / trade commerce / steel acier. 3. to elude échapper à / to blow, blew, blown up faire exploser / a Group of 7 summit with the world’s leading economic powers [last June], Trump, expressing pique at Canada’s prime minister, refused to sign the carefully negotiated communiqué that his own team had agreed to. It was the sort of boilerplate agreement that every previous president had made over four decades.
4. “Trump is an anarchist,” said Jack O’Donnell, a former president of the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, who became a sharp critic. “It was his approach in business, it is his approach as president. It does not take good negotiating skills to cause chaos.”
5. Ultimately, his advisers said, his hard-line positions that for now have left him at an impasse with negotiating partners should pay off in ways that did not for presidents like Barack Obama and George W. Bush. “I don’t think it’s that counterintuitive to say that playing hardball will lead to better trade
pique ressentiment / boilerplate texte standard, ici boilerplate agreement accord standard / decade décennie. 4. former ancien, ex- / sharp acerbe / skill compétence. 5. adviser conseiller / hard-line intransigeant, ferme / to pay, paid, paid off se révéler payant / counterintuitive contre-intuitif; ici, paradoxal / to play hardball employer la manière forte /
deals eventually,” said Andy Surabian, a Republican strategist and former aide to Trump. “We weren’t even talking about these under Obama or Bush,” he added. “There was no talking about renegotiating better trade deals. You couldn’t even get China to the table before Trump came along.”
6. Trump points to a few deals, notably the major tax-cutting package that passed late last year. But even that was negotiated mainly by Republican lawmakers, who said Trump did not seem engaged in the details. Nor did he secure the bipartisan support he had hoped for. And as legislative challenges go, handing out tax cuts without paying for them is not exactly the hardest thing politicians do.
7. As for foreign policy, Trump has taken great pride in his meeting with North Korea’s eventually finalement, au bout du compte. 6. to point to désigner, citer, mentionner / notably notamment / package ici, ensemble de mesures / to pass ici, être adopté/voté / lawmaker législateur / to secure obtenir / bipartisan bipartite (Républicains et Démocrates) / to hand out ici, allouer, accorder. 7. foreign étranger, extérieur / to take, took, taken pride in se montrer très fier de / leader, Kim Jong Un, asserting that “I have solved that problem” after a decades long nuclear standoff and even musing that he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. But there is no deal, at least not yet. There is a vague 391-word statement essentially agreeing to agree, an expression of a goal with no details. In effect, the agreement with Kim is like a deal to sell parts of Trump Tower without settling on a price, date, inspection or financing. It is not nearly as advanced as agreements that President Bill Clinton and Bush made with North Korea, both of which ultimately collapsed.
8. Trump’s approach has been to make expansive demands and apply as much pressure as he can. He argues that crushing sanctions he imposed on North Korea forced Kim to meet. He now hopes to extract concessions from China, Canada and Europe after slapping punishing tariffs on them. “Trump is a bilateral player, in part because that’s what he is used to from his building days, but also because he keeps himself the king, the decider, the strongman,” said Wendy Sherman, who was Obama’s lead negotiator on the Iran nuclear deal.
9. When it comes to Congress, other presidents have run into walls of resistance by the opposition — what both Obama and Trump have called “obstructionism.” Some had hoped Trump might be able to bridge that divide because at different points he has been a Democrat and a Republican.
10. But with the exception of a short-term spending and debt deal that simply postponed difficult decisions, Trump has made
to assert affirmer / standoff impasse, confrontation / to muse méditer, réfléchir; ici, déclarer / to deserve mériter / statement déclaration / to agree to agree s'engager à tomber d'accord pour cesser un conflit, réf. à l'expr. to agree to disagree en rester là, cesser un conflit en admettant que l'on ne sera jamais d'accord / goal but, objectif / to settle fixer, établir / to collapse s'effondrer; ici, capoter. 8. demand exigence / to argue affirmer, prétendre / crushing écrasant / to extract arracher, soustraire / to slap infliger / tariff droit de douane / from his building days depuis l'époque où il était un magnat de l'immobilier / he keeps himself… il maintient sa position de… (to keep garder, conserver). 9. when it comes to en ce qui concerne / to run, ran, run into rencontrer, se heurter à / to bridge combler / divide fossé. 10. short-term à court terme / to postpone reporter / no more progress with Democrats than Obama did with Republicans. When he gave up on immigration, he blamed it on Senate Democrats, even though the immediate impasse was among House Republicans who do not need the other party to pass a bill. “Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November,” he wrote on Twitter. “Dems are just playing games. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!”
11. It was in effect an acknowledgment by Trump that he cannot reach across the aisle and can only govern with Republicans. Trump is right that Republicans, who have 51 seats in the Senate, need Democrats to muster the 60 votes needed to overcome any filibuster. But no major political strategist is projecting that Republicans could actually win nine more seats this fall, meaning that Trump’s party would still need Democrats even after the election. to blame sth on sb tenir qqn responsable de qqch / House Republican membre du parti républicain siégeant à la Chambre des représentants qui constitue avec le Sénat le Congrès des É.-U. / bill projet de loi / to waste gaspiller, perdre / Dem = Democrat / Red Wave vague rouge, réf. à la couleur du parti républicain qui a gagné une majorité de sièges au Congrès lors des dernières élections. 11. acknowledgment reconnaissance, aveu / to reach across the aisle litt. atteindre l'autre partie de l'allée; ici, parvenir à un compromis avec un parti politique opposé / to muster rassembler / to overcome vaincre, surmonter / filibuster obstruction parlementaire / actually réellement, effectivement.