Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Tracking Trump’s Web of Conflicts Update

Trump's sprawling business ties raise questions about how his personal interests could influence the policies he’ll pursue as President. His business interests at home and abroad, outstanding debts and ongoing government action against him and his companies have already complicated the transition and could be a recurring problem for his Presidency.

Trump has earned millions of dollars plastering his name on hotels and condominium towers that were built or are owned by international partners, some in countries that are political flashpoints. Short of selling or transferring his ownership to the family, it will be difficult to fully remove himself, experts say. If he still owns or has interest in the Company, Trump could be accused of violating the emoluments clauses of the Constitution, which bans gifts or payments to U.S. officials from Foreign Governments or States doing Interstate business. Trump could run afoul of these provision through the process of obtaining permits or through dealings with business partners who often have ties to Foreign Governments or dealings with Interstate Commerce.

The Trump Organization has said it has ended some deals since the election.

Argentina - Trump Tower, Buenos Aires
Project under development to build a tower, pending Government approvals. Partners Felipe Yaryura and Moses Yellati of the YY Development Group are close with the Trumps, and Yaryura attended the Election night party in New York.

Bermuda Company
Trump lists a company on his FEC filing possibly related to business in Bermuda: DJ Aerospace (Bermuda) Ltd.

Trump International Hotel & Tower, Vancouver
Licensing and Management deal for a hotel-condo tower under development in Vancouver with the Holborn Group owned by Joo Kim Tiah, the son of one of Malaysia's wealthiest real estate investors.

Trump Tower, Toronto
Licensing and Management deal with Talon International for a tower, which was placed into receivership by a Bankruptcy Judge. The building has been subject to investor lawsuits. Trump's partners on the project were firms associated with Russian-born billionaire Alex Shnaider and others.

China Companies, Possible Development
In October, Trump Hotels CEO Eric Danziger told Chinese media that he plans to open locations in 20 to 30 Chinese Cities, plus more under the Trump Organization's new Scion brand. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the world's largest lender, is a tenant of Trump Tower in Manhattan. Trump lists multiple companies on his FEC filing possibly related to business in China: THC China Technical Services Manager Corp., THC China Technical Services LLC, THC Services Shenzhen LLC, THC Services Shenzhen Member Corp., THC Shenzhen Hotel Manager LLC, THC Shenzhen Hotel Manager Member Corp. The Trump Organization has used similar naming conventions for companies associated with previous international licensing deals.

Cuba - Possible Development
Trump Organization Executives have traveled to Cuba for years. Asked on CNN in March if he’d be interested in opening a hotel there, Trump said: “I would, I would—at the right time, when we’re allowed to do it. Right now, we’re not.” In July he told a Miami TV station that “Cuba would be a good opportunity [but] I think the timing is not right.” At a Dec. 1 event, Miguel Fluxa, CEO of Spanish hotelier Grupo Iberostar, said the Trump Organization had been looking to buy hotels in the country within the last six months.

Egypt Companies
Trump lists two Companies on his FEC filing possibly related to business in Egypt: Trump Marks Egypt and Trump Marks Egypt LLC.

Georgia - Trump Tower and Resort project, Tbilisi and Batumi
Trump lists two Companies on his FEC filing possibly related to business in the Republic of Georgia: Trump Marks Batumi and Trump Marks Batumi Member Corp. In 2011, he signed a licensing deal to use his name on two projects, developed by the Silk Road Group, in the former Soviet State: a tower in the Capital of Tbilisi and a casino Resort in Batumi, on the Black Sea. Then-President Mikheil Saakashvili sought out Trump to develop the project and attended the signing ceremony at Trump Tower in New York. Following Trump’s win, the project, once on hold, may now be moving forward.

India - Trump Towers and Companies, Mumbai, Pune, and Kolkata
Licensed his name for two projects in development in India, one in Mumbai with Lodha Group and another with Panchshil Realty for two towers in Pune. Trump recently met with his project partners, who also have ties to the Indian Government, raising questions of a potential conflict. On his FEC filing, he lists two Companies possibly related to a project in Kolkata: DT Tower Kolkata LLC, and DT Tower Kolkata Managing Member Corp.

Indonesia - Trump International Hotel & Tower, Lido and Bali
Trump Hotels has plans to open two properties in Indonesia in Indonesia with MNC Group, a Jakarta-based Media Company. He received up to $5 million in royalties for each property last year, according to his personal financial disclosure.

Ireland - Trump International Golf Links, Doonbeg
Trump bought Doonbeg Golf Club in Ireland in 2014 and promised to invest €45 million ($47.6 million). The annual report for that year, the most recent available, shows the course losing money. Trump has scaled back plans to build a sea wall after officials raised concerns over potential damage to dunes and a snail habitat.

Israel Companies
Trump lists two Companies on his FEC filing possibly related to business in Israel: Trump Drinks Israel LLC, Trump Drinks Israel Member Corp.

Panama - Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower, Panama City
Licensing deal on hotel-condo tower currently in operation developed by local partner Newland International Properties Corp.

Philippines - Trump Tower, Makati
Licensing deal on a luxury residential tower under development with Century Properties Group, whose shares surged 20% the day after Trump was elected. The Country’s new Special Envoy to the U.S., Jose E.B. Antonio, is the CEO of Century Properties. President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly threatened to distance himself from U.S. policy in favor of stronger ties with Russia and China. Although he's signaled a willingness to work more closely with Trump, many of Trump's immigration and trade policies could hurt the Country's exports and remittances.

St. Martin Companies
Trump lists two Companies on his FEC filing registered in St. Martin, French West Indies: Excel Venture I LLC and Excel Venture I Corp. The companies are tied to residential rental properties, according to the disclosure.

Taiwan - Possible Development, Taoyuan
A Trump Representative recently visited Taiwan to explore building a luxury hotel on a Government-backed development near the Taipei airport, according to the Mayor of Taoyuan, Cheng Wen-tsan. The Trump Organization said it is not planning any developments in Taiwan but did not dispute that an employee assigned to promote hotel sales in Asia visited Taipei on a work-related trip in October, according to the New York Times. Trump recently spoke by phone with Taiwan’s’ President, Tsai Ing-wen, breaking decades of diplomatic protocol and upsetting Chinese officials. China does not recognize Taiwan as a Sovereign State, and the U.S. has not had diplomatic ties to the island since the 1970s.

Turkey - Trump Towers, Istanbul
Licensing deal to use his name on two currently operating luxury towers, one commercial and one residential, for which he received as much as $5 million last year, according to his latest financial disclosure. Shares in Dogan Sirketler Grubu Holding, his partner on the project, surged almost 11% after Trump’s victory. Trump said in an interview with Breitbart News that "I have a little conflict of interest, because I have a major, major building in Istanbul.” In a move that potentially puts pressure on Trump, a Dogan representative, Barbaros Muratogl, was recently jailed on allegations of keeping ties to a U.S. based Islamic Preacher, Fethullah Gulen. Erdogan has accused Gulen of planning this summer's failed coup and reiterated calls for Gulen's extradition in his congratulatory message to Trump.

Trump Home, Istanbul
Licensing deal with Dorya International to manufacture Trump-branded furniture. Dorya President and CEO F. Doruk Yorgancioglu was quoted saying that the line sells well in places like Dubai, Istanbul, China, and Russia.

Saudi Arabia Companies, Jeddah
Trump lists Companies on his FEC filing possibly related to a development project in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia's second-biggest City, located outside Mecca: DT Jeddah Technical Services Manager LLC, DT Jeddah Technical Services Manager Member Corp., THC Jeddah Hotel Manager LLC, and THC Jeddah Hotel Manager Member Corp.

South Korea - Trump World, Seoul, Busan, and Daegu
Six luxury condominium towers in Seoul, Busan, and Daegu erected in 2007 by Daewoo Corp., which paid Trump for use of his name. Daewoo had previously built Trump World Tower in Manhattan.

United Arab Emirates Trump Golf courses, Dubai
The Trump Organization has a licensing and management deal in Dubai with Damac Properties Dubai Co. for a golf course and luxury villas currently under construction. Another Trump-branded golf course, designed by Tiger Woods, is under development with Damac nearby.

United Kingdom - Trump Turnberry, Turnberry, Scotland
Trump bought Turnberry, one of Scotland's most iconic golf courses, in 2014 for about £41 million ($51 million). It lost £8.4 million in 2015.

Trump International Golf Links Scotland, Aberdeen, Scotland
He built from scratch a course north of Aberdeen against opposition from environmentalists. It, too, has failed to make a profit, losing £1.1 million in 2015. Also in that year, Trump lost a years-long fight with Scottish lawmakers to halt the construction of an offshore wind project being built near the golf course. Trump told the New York Times that he "might have brought it up" in a conversation with Nigel Farage, the former leader of the right-wing U.K. Independence Party, whom Trump has recommended for an Ambassador position to the U.S. The project is now on-hold.

United States - Trump Tower, New York
The state-controlled Chinese bank, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., leases space in Trump Tower and is due to renegotiate its lease in 2019. This presents a possible conflict under the Constitution's emoluments clause, which bars gifts from Foreign Governments.

Old Post Office Hotel, Washington D.C.
Trump's lease of a hotel near the White House has raised questions of whether stays by Foreign Governments violate the Constitution's emoluments clause, which bars gifts from Foreign officials. According to the Washington Post, the Trump Organization held an event there one week after the Election pitching the venue to Foreign Diplomats. In December, the Azerbaijani Embassy and the Government of Bahrain held events there. The Government of Kuwait also recently switched the location of its February National-Day celebration from the Four Seasons to Trump's hotel.

Uruguay - Trump Tower, Punta del Este
Licensing deal to develop a residential tower with Aetos SA, a company affiliated with YY Development, which is also Trump’s partner in Argentina.

Debts to Lenders
Trump's businesses held at least $630 million of debt as of July, owed to international lenders such as Deutsche Bank and UBS. Vornado Realty Trust, the majority owner of two towers in which Trump also has a stake, owes money to Goldman Sachs and Bank of China. Trump has refused to disclose his tax returns, so it's impossible to know if he has additional debts not tied to his businesses.

Bank of China
Bank of China holds part of a $950 million loan on an office building, 1290 Avenue of the Americas, in Manhattan. Trump has a 30% stake in the project.

Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank is Trump's biggest lender. The German company owns about half of the billionaire's outstanding debt in loans tied to Trump's hotel in Washington and Doral, a Miami golf resort. Unrelated to its loans to Trump, the bank reached a $7.2 billion settlement with the Department of Justice in December over an investigation of its sale of mortgage-backed securities. They are being investigated separately for a “systemic” failure to prevent money laundering.

Ladder Capital
Ladder Capital is Trump's second-biggest lender. The New York-based firm has issued loans against Trump's older real estate assets, including Trump Tower and 40 Wall St., an office tower, in Manhattan.

Government Agencies have been Reviewing his Businesses
Before he was elected, Trump, his businesses and his financial partners were involved with several Federal Agencies. With billions of dollars, and possible criminal charges, at stake, he'll now oversee and appoint people to lead these same Agencies.

Federal Communications Commission
Trump is going to be Executive Producer on the NBC reality show "The New Celebrity Apprentice" and continue to hold a “big stake” of 50%, in the show. NBC is owned by Comcast, which is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission, which the President oversees. Comcast recently sought a merger with Time Warner, which failed after regulators indicated they had issues with the deal. Trump said that he would block a proposed AT&T-Time Warner deal. On Dec. 15th, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said he would depart the Commission by Jan. 20th, leaving Trump with two positions to fill.

General Services Administration
Trump holds a 60-year lease to run Trump International Hotel in Washington's historic Old Post Office. He paid about $200 million in renovation costs and will pay $3 million a year in rent to the General Services Administration. The lease agreement appears to forbid any Elected official from being involved in the property. On Dec. 14th, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee wrote a letter saying that GSA officials believe Trump must fully divest from the property to avoid being in breach of his lease. The GSA issued a statement saying that it would be “premature” to make a “definitive statement at this time about what would constitute a breach of the agreement.”

Internal Revenue Service
Trump’s taxes are currently under audit by the IRS. The Commissioner is appointed by the President to five-year terms. The current Commissioner's term expires in 2018. The IRS is housed under the Office of the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury within the Treasury Department. Trump will nominate new people for those positions.

Justice Department
Trump owes Deutsche Bank AG, his largest lender, about $300 million in loans against his Washington hotel and his Doral resort in Florida. Unrelated to its business with Trump, the Justice Department reached a $7.2 billion settlement with Deutsche Bank in December over its sale of mortgage-backed securities ahead of the 2008 financial crisis. The Agency is separately investigating the bank for a “systemic” failure to prevent money laundering. Trump is set to name a new Attorney General to run the Justice Department.

Secret Service
Trump could be poised to make millions of dollars off of his publicly financed Secret Service protection. During the Campaign, the Trump Organization charged the Secret Service between $1.6 million and $8.5 million to fly on his aircraft. Trump could make even more money once he takes office: he has continued to fly around the Country on his Boeing 757 jet with Secret Service in tow. And with Melania Trump and 10-year-old son Barron planning to remain in their Trump Tower condo once Trump occupies the White House, the NY Post estimates it might cost as much as $3 million a year, payable to Trump, for the Secret Service to rent space in the building. It's less clear who would be responsible for the costs of advanced security at Trump-branded properties around the world. The security of every President or President-Elect costs the public money, but it is unusual that Trump has profited from some of those funds.

Treasury Department and Federal Reserve
According to his FEC Filing, Trump has hundreds of millions in loans to cover his real estate projects, which could be affected by U.S. monetary policy. While the Fed is structured to be resistant to changes in Administration, Trump took aim at Fed Chair Janet Yellen during the Campaign and, with the help of Congress, could take steps to change how the Central Bank operates.

He Held Millions in Stock but Says he 'Got Out'
Trump faced criticism over how his personal investments could influence his policies as President. He held millions of dollars in banking and energy holdings and stood to benefit from policies that would weaken financial regulations or increase oil and gas development. On Dec. 6th, Jason Miller, a spokesman for Trump, said the President-Elect had sold all his stock in June. Miller did not provide documentation that verified the sale, and none of Trump's stakes was large enough to require disclosure. Some of his stock holdings seem related to actions he's taken as President-Elect. His FEC disclosure listed a small stake in United Technologies, with which Trump recently brokered a $7 million deal in state tax breaks and other incentives to keep about 800 jobs in the U.S. These are the industries Trump was most heavily invested in according to his May FEC filing.

Banking - $10,474,009
Top Companies: Royal Bank of Canada, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Toronto Dominion Bank, and Bank of Nova Scotia.

Technology - $5,413,013
Top Companies: Apple, Alphabet (Google), IBM, Microsoft, Intuit, Salesforce, NXP Semiconductors, Cognizant Tech Solutions, and Cisco Systems, Broadcom.

Oil, Gas & Coal - $3,900,010
Top Companies: Chevron, Total Capital, Occidental Petroleum, Phillips 66, Halliburton, Exxon Mobil, EOG Resources, Schlumberger, and Energy Transfer Partners.

Finance - $2,472,007
Top Companies: Morgan Stanley, American Express, Visa, Discover, and Ameriprise Financial,

Automotive - $2,065,000
Top Companies: Ford, Toyota, and Borg Warner.

Consumer Products $1,895,015
Top Companies: Pepsico, Kraft-Heinz, Mead Johnson Nutrition, Procter & Gamble, Conagra, JM Smucker Company, and Jarden.

Machinery - $1,617,002
Top Companies: John Deere, Caterpillar, and Parker Hannifin.

Health Care - $1,505,005
Top Companies: Thermo Fisher Scientific, McKesson, Express Scripts, and HCA Holdings.

Insurance - $1,160,000
Top Companies: Berkshire Hathaway, and Prudential.

Media - $1,155,005
Top Companies: Comcast, Walt Disney, and Twenty First Century Fox.

Telecom - $1,128,003
Top Companies: AT&T, and T-Mobile.

Commercial Services - $1,100,000
Top Company: Ecolab

Biotech & Pharma - $1,090,010
Top Companies: Gilead Sciences, Johnson & Johnson, Celgene, Merck, Medivation, Pfizer, and Shire.

Metals & Mining - $1,030,000
Top company: BHP Billiton

Stock data from Trump's May 2016 FEC filing show industries with up to $1 million or more invested.

The Total = Up to $38M

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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