French President Emmanuel Macron reportedly referenced President Donald Trump’s book “The Art of the Deal” while talking to Trump about the escalating trade dispute between the EU and the US.
The exchange took place on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Brussels earlier this month. During a bilateral meeting, Trump and Macron began discussing the intensifying trade dispute between Europe and the US, sources familiar with the conversation told Axios.
The budding trade war kicked off in May after Trump imposed steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from several allies, including the EU. In retaliation, the EU purposely slapped tariffs on classic American products such as blue jeans and bourbon, sending a political message to Trump and congressional leaders.
During their NATO conversation, Trump suggested Macron convince the EU to negotiate with the US over trade measures, the source told Axios.
Macron referenced the president’s own tactics to deliver an icy response, the source said.
“I read the Art of the Deal,” the French president told Trump with a smile, referring to Trump’s 1987 co-authored book on how to succeed in business.
“I know that we need to retaliate first so we have some leverage in the negotiation.”
The Axios report highlights how foreign leaders are using Trump’s own techniques in their negotiations with the president.
China has taken on Trump’s deal-making style, engaging in tit-for-tat tariffs with the US that continue to snowball. Trump first imposed tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods in July as a protectionist measure, setting the trade war in motion.
And before meeting with Trump for their June summit, experts say North Korean leader Kim Jong Un went to China to seek advice from Xi Jinping on how to deal with Trump’s hardline negotiating tactics.