Trump Jr. to launch Trump Towers project in India

Evarado Alatorre
Febrero 19, 2018

Donald Trump set to land in India on Monday for a weeklong trip to tout luxury residential units being built by the Trumps and their local partners in four cities while the president in Washington, D.C., has pledged "to strengthen security and economic cooperation" between India and the US and has taken a harder stance toward Pakistan and China, two of India's rivals.

Donald Trump Jr is to arrive in India on Monday as part of a week long trip to promote luxury "Trump Tower" properties in the country.

The younger Trump's weeklong itinerary of cocktail parties, dinners and events with real estate brokers, business leaders and prospective buyers comes as President Trump is working to strengthen ties between the two countries. And two weeks, ago, the president called India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and pledged to "strengthen security and economic cooperation" between the United States and India.

Mr Trump has also taken a harder line towards Pakistan and China, two of India's rivals.

The overlap in India between father and son creates a spectacle with few parallels in business and diplomacy. India is the company's largest market outside the United States, earning the family up to $3m in royalties in 2016.

The Trump family earned as much as US$3 million in royalties in 2016 from ventures in India.

Trump Jr.'s visit to India comes after his sister, Ivanka, visited Hyderabad in November previous year to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

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"The idea that the President's son would be going and shilling the President's brand at the same time Donald Trump is President and is managing strategic and foreign relations with India - that is just freakish", said Daniel S. Markey, who helped coordinate the South Asia policy at the State Department during the George W. Bush administration.

There are no formal federal rules that prohibit Trump Jr from pursuing his business interests; he is a private citizen. And even though President Trump is still a beneficial owner of the family business, he is not subject to conflict of interest laws, as the President is exempt.

The real estate companies building the projects had earlier advertised that those buying an apartment in the Trump Towers will be able to meet Trump Jr.

The largest is here in Gurgaon, now known officially as Gurugram, a fast-growing city outside New Delhi with a skyline filled with skyscrapers.

The Trump development encompasses two towers with 254 "ultra luxury" units, each selling for as much as US$1.5 million. The family brand operates under licence to an Indian property firm and there are Trump Towers in Gurgaon, a satellite city of Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata. "Have you?" The ad also says that those who buy a property in the Trump Towers before February 21 will be able to meet Trump Jr for a conversation and dinner with him.

According to business partners in India, many units are selling about 30 per cent per square foot higher than market rates. The younger Trump's visit this week is expected to reinforce that trend, they said, even as many other luxury housing towers have hundreds of empty units. The head of Tribecca Developers, Kalpesh Mehta, had visited Trump in November 2016 after his win, a trip that led to controversy.

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