President Donald Trump heads off to India next Monday where his high profile visit may give a boost to his sagging fortunes at some of his properties in a country that happens to be the Trump Organization’s largest foreign market featuring the Trump name.
According to a report from Politico, "President Donald Trump arrives Monday in a country featuring the most Trump properties outside the U.S.
The White House hopes the visit will advance trade talks and bolster the president’s standing with Indian-Americans ahead of the 2020 election," adding, "But it’s also a trip that will create attention that could help Trump-branded properties amid a slumping real estate market and slowing economy in India."
The report notes goes on to note, "Already, in the days leading up to the trip, some Indian media outlets have referenced the Trump properties in their coverage, with one even suggesting the president chose his speaking location because of his longstanding ties to realtors in the region."
Politico points out that India has been good to the Trump Org, including during the three years he has been a president with more developments on the way.
"Nowhere are the lines more blurred between Trump the statesman and Trump the salesman than in India — a nation that boasts the distinction of being both the globe’s largest democracy and the Trump Organization’s largest foreign market. For three years, Trump’s White House has worked with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on trade and a multi-billion weapons sale. And for three years, Trump’s company has worked to promote its four developments in India that have earned Trump millions of dollars in royalties," the report states. "Some of the Trump Organization’s business partners in India are also connected to the government, creating potential conflicts of interest. Some also face lawsuits and investigations into financial wrongdoing. And some have touted their relationship with the U.S. president in promotional materials and granted buyers access to members of the first family."
"When Trump became president, he pledged that his company would forgo any new foreign deals while he was in office. But the Trump Organization still promotes its existing foreign properties and has signaled where it may want to expand after Trump leaves office. India appears to be top of that list," Politic reports noting that currently, "The company has four luxury condo projects across the country with what has been reported in India as revenue potential of $1.5 billion. In April 2016, it also proposed an office building in Gurgaon, a suburb of Delhi."
According to one of Trump's critics in Congress, his involvement in India and the promotion of his properties is troubling -- particularly when he talks trade deals with the country's leaders.
“There’s this complete merging of the Trump financial interests and the president’s actions as president of the United States,” explained Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI). “We can have no confidence that the president is not being influenced by his business.”
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