Friday, January 6, 2017

Trump Organisation suspends exploratory talks over its Pune project

6 January 2017

PUNE: The Trump Organisation has cancelled exploratory talks over possible projects by the global firm in India, Brazil and Argentina as President-elect Donald Trump readies to assume office in about two weeks and questions about conflict of interest between his presidency and business continue to be raised.

A report in Fox News quoted Trump lawyer Alan Garten as saying that the company would not continue exploratory talks over projects in Pune in India and in Buenos Aires. The company has also cancelled a "memorandum of understanding" to continue discussions with local partners over possible office towers in Rio de Janeiro.

The report added that discussions over the possible project in Pune were separate from two residential towers already built there that bear the Trump name. Trump also has his name on a residential tower in Mumbai.

Late last year, licensing deals for hotels in Brazil, Azerbaijan and Georgia were also cancelled as Trump had come under pressure to separate from his business before assuming office. While Trump has given no indication that he plans to sell his interest in his business, he has pledged to do "no new deals" while the president and to leave the management of his company to his two adult sons.

The report added that Trump has stakes in 500 companies in about 20 countries, some of which appear to be set up for tax or legal reasons. It said the Argentina talks came under scrutiny last year after several media outlets reported that Trump tried to speed along the Buenos Aires project by mentioning it in his congratulatory call from Argentine President Mauricio Macri.

The project in Brazil involves plan to build five office towers in Rio de Janeiro, but the development got tied up in a corruption investigation that was unrelated to Trump himself, the report said.


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