“To predict Donald Trump actions you need to get into his psychology,” said Chandra, joint director general of foreign trade, whose book was launched recently with President Pranab Mukherjee getting the first copy. As he sees it, Trump is putting his theory of “keep the balls in the air” to use.
“According to him, politics is deal making, and that is why he says the principles he applies as a realtor he will apply to politics also. “He has this theory of being flexible. He says that every time he has over 100 balls in the air… he will catch at least one and if a few of them fall into his lap that’s a bonus. So he says to keep the ball in the air. And that’s when he says he tries to rattle a nation by 30 options or 30 statements,” Chandra said during the recent launch of the book at Nehru Memorial Library.
Chandra, who has a doctorate from the School of International Studies, JNU, and has worked in several ministries, said everybody believes Trump is a bully and a person you cannot talk to. “But if you see him closely there is a method to his madness, and in this book, I have tried to see that very method.” Is the apostle of free trade turning protectionist, desperate for jobs to come back to America? Will America’s foreign trade policy create ripples in International trade too? Is it time for India to hear the warning bells?
As the questions circle the air, particularly as Modi heads to the US June 25 for his crucial meeting with Trump, Chandra said patience is the key. “My conclusion is that Donald Trump’s basic strategy is to muddle the waters, then allow them to settle down.
“You have to be patient in dealing with him, you have to be personal in dealing with him and you have to be clever in dealing with him…where he must get this feeling that America is going to gain out of this deal as well… It should be a win-win game for both the countries.” The business magnate and now president has co-authored a book called “The Art of the Deal”, said Chandra.
“His book that he says is ‘next to Bible to him’ allowed me to decode his psychology. And he is doing exactly what he said in his book.”
Chandra said “Indian Foreign Trade: Trumped up or Down”, published by the Pentagon Press, is “extremely topical” as it suggests what India should do to handle the phenomenon called Donald Trump. “I have recommended things by keeping his psychology in mind… Now two deal-makers of two biggest democracies will soon be meeting each other. Let us see what pans out.”