Saturday, October 22, 2016
Trump's Name Invoked in Effort to Draw Chinese Investors
(Source: The New York Times) The investment pitch for a new Texas hotel uses Donald Trump’s name and has professional-sounding bona fides. Focusing on the well-heeled Chinese, the deal promotes the “excellent location” of the $130 million Austin Mirabeau Trump Hotel and “the world’s leading developer,” the Trump Organization. The project offers another enticement: a path to a green card in the United States. Chinese investors who put at least $500,000 into the hotel could get a visa as part of a government program intended to tap overseas money and create jobs in economically troubled American neighborhoods.
On its surface, the pitch, detailed in a 16-page document distributed to Chinese investors in recent weeks, appears to be another example of Mr. Trump’s conflicting views on China and trade. Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, has accused the country of stealing American jobs even though he has used its manufacturers for his line of clothing.
But a closer look exposes the potential troubles with the controversial American visa initiative, called the EB-5 program, which has been marred by cases of fraud and doubts that it produces the desired economic results. The Austin project hasn’t been officially greenlighted, and there is little sign that either Mr. Trump or his organization is deeply involved.
The company named as the Trump Organization’s partner has zero value, according to the personal bankruptcy filing of its chief executive. And property records show a project with a different name, Waterloo Park Tower, is in the works for the site in Austin, which at the moment is home to a brick-oven pizzeria. A Trump-linked project has tapped EB-5 money from China in the past, according to a Bloomberg article published in March that looked at a tower in Jersey City, N.J. While a spokeswoman for Trump Hotels didn’t outright deny any Trump involvement in the Austin project, she played down the organization’s connection. “Our growth strategy is to expand the Trump Hotels portfolio by strategically developing and opening properties in both key U.S. and international locations,” said the spokeswoman, Jennifer Rodstrom. “While we do not have a definite project in Austin at this time, we remain interested in key U.S. cities and will continue to explore such opportunities accordingly.” Read complete article here: