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Trump Sons Eye Domestic Expansion After They Take Helm Of Company

Trump Sons Eye Domestic Expansion After They Take Helm Of Company
Eric and Donald Trump Jr. are adjusting to the reality presented by their father's presidency and are now at the helm of the Trump Organization. By expanding the brand into parts of the United States that embrace him they're eyeing ways to use the new lease on the family fame.
While Trump is president, as a result of the pledge to stall international dealmaking, some business has slowed. Potentially to be set up in the in states where Trump triumphed over Democrat Hillary Clinton last November, two new hotel chains are being considered - a four-star brand and a less luxurious line.
"I think it makes it naturally easier if you're going into a place that's not adversarial to you," Donald Trump Jr. said in a recent interview.
Billions of dollars' worth of hotels, office buildings, golf courses and management and licensing agreements is owned by the Trump Organization which is a private, family-run business. Including ones in India, the United Arab Emirates and the Dominican Republic, the company will complete existing projects, although foreign deals are on hold.
The president's sons suggested that the company could lose some new revenue because overseas markets have been hotter for the Trump brand.
Scion, which is meant to offer upscale service in U.S. cities that could not support a full-fledged Trump luxury property, was the latest chain of a four-star hotels that was announced to be created last fall. Though no ground has been broken yet, more than two dozen letters of intent have been signed.
Even if the hotels ended up in some of the economically depressed regions whose voters rallied for Trump and may not be able to afford a luxury brand, the plan would not seem to run afoul of any ethics standards, experts said. They said that it would be no different from cashing in on the name of a nonpolitical celebrity.
Similarly, by replacing her high-end jewelry line with a mass-market brand, daughter Ivanka Trump has made a pitch for Trump's blue-collar supporters.
"It would not seem to blur any lines with the presidency," said Kathleen Clark, a law professor at Washington University. She said that while "questions can be raised" about some of the company's behavior, a pitch into Trump-friendly states seems like "a reasonable business strategy."
Donald Trump Jr. said that additional scrutiny, including a review by an in-house and outside ethics counsel, would be faced by any new investment, particularly if it involves foreign funds.
"It's a complicated procedure that changes the dynamic. There are plenty of deals that two years ago or eight years from now, 'Oh, yeah, you can do this,'" he said. "Today, we have to take that much more seriously. There is an optical component that has to be taken into account."
As some critics contended during the campaign, he bristled at the idea that his father ran for president to enrich himself or his family.
"He spent $75 million of his own money to run against 17 incredibly seasoned Republican candidates to then go against Hillary Clinton," Donald Trump Jr. said. "No one in their right mind would do that. That's not a good business model! I get it, it sells papers, it creates headlines. But it's ridiculous."

During his first weeks in office, he barely spoke to his father, Donald Trump Jr. said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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