Negotiations lie at the heart of international diplomacy. Parties (governments, businesses, and nongovernmental organizations) employ the art and science of negotiation to protect and advance their organizational and constituent interests. The skillful use of negotiation can advance a party's interests and help to avoid a less attractive alternative (e.g. trade wars, litigation, or protracted dispute settlement procedures under the WTO).
An effective negotiation process can lead to positive outcomes that can result in the promotion of important national objectives including economic development, new business opportunities, and environmental protection. Even for students and practitioners who may not aspire to the role of international trade negotiator, most professionals negotiate frequently in the performance of their jobs. Whether negotiating a raise, a vacation, or a promotion with a supervisor or negotiating with peers and subordinates over work assignments, deadlines, or workplace conflicts, we all negotiate all the time. No training manual can guarantee success in any particular negotiating setting, but everyone can improve their negotiating skills to increase the probability of successful outcomes.
International negotiations in the broad context of trade relations may include negotiations over prices, tariffs, and sales or qualitative negotiations over broad principles related to the environmental, labor, health and safety, or other impacts of trade related agreements.
The purpose of this manual is to provide the reader and the practitioner with the following analytical and practical skills:
Problem identification and development of negotiation goals and strategies;
Identification of parties (stakeholders) and their respective interests and priorities;
Development of multiple options (solutions) that will maximize the probability of positive outcomes for all parties to the process.
Development of specific skills in the following areas:
The Role and Development of Negotiations in Commercial Diplomacy
This manual addresses the negotiation of policy measures that affect international trade and investment. The negotiation of trade-related policy issues primarily centers on the reconciliation of trade-based economic objectives and broader public policy objectives such as health, safety, and the social welfare of disadvantaged groups in society. These different interests of society are reconciled through a complex negotiating process that takes place within and between domestic stakeholder groups such as businesses, unions, civic groups and government agencies, and ultimately between national governments. The special character of Commercial Diplomacy is that it encompasses both private stakeholders and governments, that it addresses both private commercial interests and public policy interests, and that the outcome is arbitrated through both economic markets and political markets. Negotiations in Commercial Diplomacy cover business issues, policy issues, broad economic issues and political issues, as well as legal issues.
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