Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Trump adviser's company courting Chinese investors

Trump adviser's company courting Chinese investors

White House senior advisor Jared Kushner's family business is courting wealthy Chinese to buy stakes in real estate through a controversial government program that offers U.S. residency in exchange for investment.

The program offers foreign nationals permanent residency - commonly known as a green card - in exchange for investments of at least half a million dollars in a United States business that must also create 10 American jobs.

In questioning immigration, Trump hasn't raised the EB-5 program.

Kushner's sister Nicole Meyer promoted One Journal Square, a Kushner Companies' development in Jersey City, at an event Sunday at the Four Seasons Hotel in Shanghai, according to participants. Investors were told to act now, as the visa progam could change.

On Sunday, a Kushner Companies representative sent an email to the Washington Post that said Meyer "apologizes if that mention of her brother was in any way interpreted as an attempt to lure investors".

And in March of this year, Kushner Companies ended a partnership with Chinese company Anbang Insurance Group that would have allowed investment in their Manhattan headquarters. His family's promotional efforts in China come amid widespread criticism of the EB-5 visa program, which has grown popular among wealthy foreigners seeking to move to the US but faces allegations of fraud and misuse. And the sell in Beijing involved a controversial visa program known as EB-5.

Attendees were reassured by a USA lawyer that despite his tough talk on immigration, Trump was unlikely to make any changes to the EB-5 policy in the near future. Emily Rauhala is a reporter for The Washington Post who was there in the ballroom.

"What you actually would need to know in terms of a concern about impartiality and to whom he may owe some kind of loyalty or gratitude, is not just the name of the organization, but also the identity of companies and individuals who have also invested in that organization and made the real estate project possible", Clark said.

During the event in Beijing, Kushner's sister promoted a program offering a path to US citizenship to Chinese backers.

Over the weekend, a pitch in China to Chinese investors made a lot of headlines here in the U.S. That's because Kushner Companies was making the pitch.

This weekend's presentation highlighted that the One Journal Square project was similar to a "Trump-branded luxury development", also developed by Kushner Companies.

"Given that President (Donald) Trump and Jared Kushner refuse to divest from their vast financial holdings, the only way to eliminate this conflict is for Congress to allow the program to expire in September", said Feinstein, who has sponsored legislation to end the program. The reforms included efforts to revive that the program's original intent of providing investment in rural and distressed urban areas.

Workers wait for investors during an event promoting EB-5 investment. The company, which included mention of Mr. Kushner and a large photo of his father-in-law at the event, has apologized for any impression of influence trading that might have been created by its presentation.

Qiaowai's Chinese-language marketing material describes the project as "supported by the government, created by a star developer", and says the project is its 87th EB-5 programme. Bustle has reached out to the White House and Kushner Companies for comment. They were told by organizers that it was a "private event", despite it being publicly advertised.

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