Foreign Governments Streamlining The Development Of Trump-Branded Projects Raise Questions About Ethics
Foreign governments around the globe are donating land, streamlining permit approvals and easing environmental regulations for the development of Trump-branded properties, raising ethical concerns about the conflict of interest behind such actions, according to news reports.
While the deals are being spearheaded by The Trump Organization and do not directly benefit the president, it could still put him in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s emoluments clause — which prevents any person who holds an office of trust or profit to accept a present or emolument without the consent of Congress. The streamlining of these deals could be seen as gifts and methods of gaining access to Trump through his business empire, the Miami Herald reports.
In Indonesia, the local government will develop a toll road extension in order to shorten the drive between the main airport on the island of Bali and MNC Bali Resort, which is owned by the Trump Organization. In Panama, the federal government went to great lengths to ensure the sewer system and water pipes surrounding the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower would be completed after the company that initially had the contract went bankrupt.
Though an attorney for the Trump Organization has argued that the president’s business has not benefited from any actions taken by foreign governments, watchdog groups remain unconvinced and have accused Trump of violating the law in more than 20 countries that contain properties from his family business, including in Uruguay, India and the Philippines, according to the Miami Herald.