Juncker’s secret weapon in trade talks with Trump: color-coded flash cards

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker walked away from his meeting with President Donald Trump on Wednesday with a freshly won trade detente, and he may have had flash cards to thank.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Juncker came to the meeting in Washington well-prepared, with “more than a dozen colorful cue cards with simplified explainers,” such as numbers and factoids about complex topics such as automotive trade. Each easy-to-read card had, at most, three figures, a senior European Union official told the Journal.

By the end of their three-hour meeting, Juncker and Trump had agreed not to impose any further tariffs and to work toward “zero tariffs.”

Also see: Even if short of specifics, the Trump-Juncker agreement is significant

Juncker said later that he wanted to persuade Trump that a tit-for-tat trade war was not a smart move and would only end up hurting both sides.

But, “If you want to be stupid,” he told Trump, according to the Journal. “I can be stupid, as well.”

Turns out, he can be pretty smart too.

Juncker was apparently following the example of top White House officials, who have learned to deliver Trump’s daily intelligence briefing in short bullet-points loaded with maps, charts and “killer graphics,” according to a Washington Post report last year.

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