Full disclosure. I wasn’t aware that, in a trade deal, the name of the contract is called a Memorandum of Understanding. In fact, if you had asked me what a Memorandum of Understanding was yesterday, I would have guessed it was some type of preliminary deal. I, however, am not the President of the United States. I didn’t campaign for a year and a half on making trade deals. It’s no big deal if in 2019 I am misunderstanding the memorandum.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer described an MOU as follows:
“An MOU is a contract. It’s the way trade agreements are generally [established]. It’s an actual contract between the two parties. A memo of understanding is a binding agreement… It’s a legal term; it’s a contract.”
I’m sure we all understand what a Memorandum of Understanding is now. It doesn’t get much more clear than that. Yet President Trump was still misunderstanding the memorandum. The President disagreed:
“A memorandum of understanding is exactly that: It’s a memorandum of what our understanding is, How long will that take to put into a … contract?”
Folks, that is tough to watch. See video above. I don’t want to have to criticize the President all the time. However, some things can’t be ignored. This is one of those things.
How is the President still misunderstanding the Memorandum of Understanding?
Trump criticized the deals that previous Presidents had made. Furthermore, he told us that he made the best deals in the history of deals. This is the second trade deal he has worked on. He campaigned on making great deals. He wrote the “Art of the Deal”, remember? Yet look at the expressions on the faces of the other partners in this deal.
Trump’s Trade Chief realized that the President was never going to get it. He gave up and switched terms to prevent dragging things out. A Memorandum of Understanding will from this point forward be called a “Trade Deal”.
This reminded me of when my daughter was 2 years old. She will kill me when she reads this. I was trying to explain to her that the Miami Dolphins were not My Ami Dolphins. Realizing that it wasn’t working, I gave them to her. “They’re your Ami Dolphins” I said. “My Ami?” Exactly honey.
I want the President to succeed. He’s representing all of us. However, he’s badly embarrassing us. What he lacks in knowledge, he makes up for in misunderstanding. Yes, even misunderstanding the memorandum of understanding.