Friday, December 30, 2016

The United States as Leverage for Trump Business in China: Or What Happens When you Mix Narcissism With Conflict of Interest and the Presidency

Trump has declared China the international enemy of the United States.
Meanwhile, Trump has become the friend and compatriot of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
Foreign policy analysts have been puzzled by this–why cozy up to an enemy of the United States, that has invaded Ukraine and Crimea, has a collapsing economic infrastructure, and has global ambitions regarding expansion, as opposed to a power that has accepted the international status quo and is opening to the United States?
Now we know the answer, which is purely Trumpian: China has turned away the Trump Organization’s attempts over the past 8 years to do business with Trump. Russia however, has been more than welcoming, to the point that his son, Don Jr., stated that most of the current income of the organization comes from Russia and Russian sources.
Yesterday, the Washington Post published an extraordinary article:
BEIJING — Donald Trump calls China an “enemy” of the United States, a threat and an international pariah whose modus operandi is to lie, cheat and steal — but for at least eight years his hotel chain has been trying to do business here.
Although negotiations have yet to bear fruit, Trump Hotels had made confident predictions this year about opening 20 or 30 luxury hotels in China. None havve occured

What we are seeing here is a classic demonstration of Trump self-involvement–he is using the United States Presidency as a levering chip in an attempt to bring the Trump Organization into a nation that for 8 years years has refused–China.
As a man who is unable to accept any disagreeement, who has clearly been seeking liquidity to reduce his debt, the refusal of China to accept Trump Hotels has directly led to his foreign policy–which, as always, is based on the utterly simplistic: “If you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you; if you’re not nice, I’ll be not so nice.”
Here, however, he is not simply involving the future of Trump’s debt negotiations, but the future of the citizens of the United States and the world as leverage.
This is the greatest conflict of interest to date–and the clearest administration that for Trump, the presidency is truly all about himself.