Posted by Lewis on May 31, 2007
In Reply to: Re: Horse trading posted by RRC on May 29, 2007
: : I have read the explanation of the expression in the archives, but am afraid the it does not match exactly the context below:
: : QUOTE
: : The group of allies, which included Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Brazil, Argentina and Germany, said they will not engage in "horse trading," even if Japan compromised on its controversial plan to hunt 50 humpback whales next year as part of its scientific-research program.
: : UNQUOTE
: : In this context it sounds for my non-native English speaker ear like a barter, bargaining term - I give something to you in exchange for some favour from your side.
: Horse trading refers to any long, drawn-out negotiation with lots of bargaining and compromises.
In negotiating circles, 'horse-trading' is used of a specific type of negotiation - when the parties start at the extreme end of their range and know they will almost inevitably 'split the difference'. It is considered somewhat 'undignified' and not suitable for complex problems.
it also benefits the biggest liar.