CEO Today is a monthly magazine with news, insight and features specifically aimed at CEO's in the global business marketplace.

5 of Donald Trump’s ‘Bad’ Ideas That Turned Out To Be Great

Donald J. Trump, the 45th US President stepped into the oval office around 16 months ago. Some would argue his most controversial idea yet has been that of running for President, though of course many praise his election to US leader as a historic moment in the fight to ‘make America great again’.

While Trump’s actions have had a positive effect, some would agree he has been arguably committed to pursuing the most radical legislative and social reforms America has seen in a long time. From the Muslim travel ban to the construction of a wall to fend off the Mexicans, Trump has had many sweeping ideas, and many of these are considered to have been poor, however, some may have a silver lining, if not a much bigger purpose in Trump’s ‘art of the deal’.

  1. Threatening War Against North Korea

The threat of war is usually implied in diplomatic conversations between world leaders. However, Donald J. Trump decided to openly call out the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, and threaten total destruction.

In September 2017, during his UN speech, Trump said: “If it (the US) is forced to defend ourselves or our allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

Most would believe this was probably not a great idea, however this decision has perhaps led to some interesting turnouts, with current talks happening between North and South Korea and the potential for North Korea to stop developing its nuclear program. North Korea is however still making threats in regard to its nuclear arsenal.

Was this callout simply a great negotiation tactic?

  1. The Trans-Pacific Break-Up

This deal was set to be a game-changer across the Pacific, but once Trump stepped into office he decided to abolish any thought of committing to the partnership and pulled the US out.

Though in April Trump proposed re-joining the deal, in 2016 abandoning the TTP was a big part of Trump’s rise to Presidency, a key part of his campaign, and one that came to fruition once he had the power to make such a decision.

Some agree that this was beneficial for the US, but others, in particular those in other countries, would agree that was a poor choice on Trump’s part, who basically refused a single market-type deal with other powerful economic nations.

He said it would’ve been a “horrible deal,” and given that he likes to portray himself as the ‘dealmaker’ of Presidents, perhaps the potential to eventually rejoin the TTP would mean a far better deal for the US.

The long game can often be the winning strategy. Do you think it will pay off?

  1. Steel & Aluminium Tariffs

Even announcing the potential to impose tariffs on US steel and aluminium may have been a really bad move. Trump decided that as much as a 24% tariff could be imposed on imported steel and aluminium. The aim was to pressure China into a negotiation on its trade practices, but the overall impact on US businesses has been huge, ranging anywhere from raised prices, to growth being hindered, and of course the threat of Chinese retaliation on the economic front.

According to Tennessean, even US Senator Lamar Alexander referred to President Donald Trump’s steel tariffs as “the worst idea coming out of Washington.”

Immediately following the establishment of these tariffs, Trump tweeted this:

But straight after, this happened. Was this a good idea after all?

Well let’s look at some of the other details. Reports indicate that worldwide overproduction of both aluminium and steel have massively undermined US production. In 1993, the US operated 23 aluminium smelters and today only five are operational. In another long-game performance, Trump could be ensuring that in time US production of steel and aluminium significantly increases in capacity, bringing more employment in the sector and nurturing the US economy.

Do you think this ‘bad’ idea had a silver lining to it?

  1. Leaving the Paris Climate Accord

President Trump recently announced the US may be open to re-entering the Paris climate change agreement, signed by 195 nations in 2015, if it were to negotiate a different deal, after originally pulling out in 2017.

This move was considered by many as a really bad idea. At the time reports indicated there were some remarks from Trump regarding the true nature of climate change, with claims added that China may be behind the supposed hoax of climate change.

The Guardian reports that when asked if he believed in climate change Trump remarked: “There is a cooling, and there’s a heating. I mean look, it used to not be climate change, it used to be global warming. That wasn’t working too well because it was getting too cold all over the place. The ice caps were going to melt, they were going to be gone by now, but now they’re setting records. They’re at a record level.”

Slip to today and the most recent news on this is that Michael Bloomberg has pledged $4.5 million to cover the US’ Paris climate commitment. He says he will basically write a cheque to cover it. Bloomberg is estimated at an overall value of $50 billion, so he can probably handle the cost.

He says: “America made a commitment and as an American, if the government’s not going to do it, we all have responsibility.” He said that while Trump should be open to changing his mind the American population owe this responsibility to their original commitment in the pact.

In what seems to be a positive turn of the tides for change climate, trumps so called ‘bad’ decision has eventually led to an honourable stand from US citizens like Bloomberg. As a result of Trump’s pullout last year, China has also agreed to play a much larger role in the accord, alongside the EU, and this will only inflate as the US continues to flex against both China and the Eu on trade matters.

  1. Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem

In a more recently abrupt move, Donald Trump implemented an idea he had at the beginning of the year, to move the US embassy in Israel, from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This means that officially, Trump recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and created a divide that disturbs the US’ role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Based on the ruckus that came about in recent weeks, many believe the moving on the embassy was a poor idea from Donald Trump and his administration, having led to a turbulence in concern among foreign ministries around the world and an overall geopolitical earthquake in the region.

NPR reports that according to Senior Palestinian official, Nabil Shaath: “[Trump] is very much siding with the Israelis…Moving his embassy to Jerusalem was nothing [more] than a demonstration of his alliance with the Israelis.” Do you believe taking sides in such a longstanding sensitive conflict would be a good idea?

It wasn’t all Trump’s ‘bad’ idea however. Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all expressed intentions to make the same move at some point, but the result would have always appeared to be putting the US directly on the side of the Israelis.

The good side to moving the embassy to Jerusalem is that with the silence that has followed from world leaders, other nations may begin to follow suit. Many sources have expressed some faith that this could eventually bring a definitive resolution to the conflict and provide a bridge for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. In addition, many nations are aware of Iran’s dominance in the Middle East and recognise the need for countries to come together to put more pressure on Iran.

Sources: 

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/19/donald-trump-threatens-totally-destroy-north-korea-un-speech

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/12/us/politics/trump-trans-pacific-partnership.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32498715

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-02-27/steel-and-aluminum-tariffs-are-trump-s-worst-economic-idea

https://qz.com/1258864/aluminum-prices-is-this-the-most-poorly-timed-trump-tweet-of-them-all/

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-23/trump-is-said-to-favor-stiffest-u-s-steel-aluminum-tariffs

http://markets.businessinsider.com/commodities/aluminum-price

https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2018/03/26/lamar-alexander-steel-tariffs-trump-spending-bill/460049002/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-44134910

https://news.sky.com/story/why-does-donald-trump-want-to-move-the-us-embassy-in-israel-11157826

http://time.com/5174043/us-embassy-jerusalem-may/

http://thehill.com/opinion/international/390375-us-steel-and-aluminum-tariffs-the-right-move-at-the-right-time

https://www.vox.com/2018/5/14/17340798/jerusalem-embassy-israel-palestinians-us-trump

https://eu.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2018/06/05/ron-dermer-lauds-u-s-embassy-move-jerusalem-milwaukee-rotary/673447002/

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/22/michael-bloomberg-paris-climate-pact

https://www.undispatch.com/one-year-after-trump-ditched-the-paris-agreement-where-are-we/

Leave A Reply