Sunday, 19 November, 2017

Kushner family apologizes for mentioning White House adviser Jared Kushner

Trump Slide The Beijing presentation included a slide stressing Trump’s importance to the program
Melinda Barton | 19 May, 2017, 07:07

Over this past weekend, Nicole Kushner Meyer pitched a Jersey City housing development to more than 100 investors in Beijing, according to the New York Times and Washington Post (paywalls).

Kushner, 36, is a senior adviser to US President Donald Trump and stepped down from the family company in January to serve in the administration.

The company is seeking 300 aspiring US residents to invest a total of $150 million, and it follows other Kushner family projects using the investment program known as EB-5, including a nearby Trump-licensed building promoted as "Trump Bay Street".

There, Nicole Kushner Meyer told investors that the project "means a lot to me and my entire family", and mentioned her brother's former role as chief executive of Kushner Companies, the New York Times reported. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., to impose further oversight and restrictions on the visas, but such efforts have not overcome substantial lobbying by developers and real estate interests.

A property developer owned by relatives of the U.S. president's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has apologised for touting the Kushner connection at an investor presentation in China.

Chinese staff wait for investors at a reception desk on Sunday in Shanghai, China, during an event promoting investment in a Kushner Companies development.

Over the weekend, the Kushner Companies invited wealthy foreigners to sink cash into a New Jersey real estate project via the EB-5 program.

The events are jointly organised by Kushner Companies, which Jared Kushner was associated with until he joined the United States administration this year, and mainland migration agency - Qiaowai, the report said.

Though the program is not often in the spotlight, it has always been targeted on Capitol Hill for reform - and the Department of Homeland Security is considering some changes to the program to set a higher bar for would-be investors.

Critics have blasted the Kushner Companies' sales pitches in China, saying they are a new example of how the Trump administration is using its position to boost its business interests.

Now led by Kushner's relatives, the Kushner Companies had earlier been negotiating with China's Anbang Insurance Group to provide what could be hundreds of millions of dollars in equity for redevelopment of a Manhattan office building. A slide displayed at the event on Saturday identified Mr. Trump as a "key decision maker" on the fate of the EB-5 program.

Journalists had been asked to leave the room in Beijing. "The potential investors were advised to invest sooner rather than later in case visa rules change under the Trump administration", they add. In September 2015, the Bipartisan Policy Center estimated that 44,000 people, a third of them foreign investors and the rest family members, had qualified since 1992. If Trump opts to implement them, the $500,000 investment level would be raised and the federal government would receive greater power over where projects may be built.

The visa program is especially popular among rich Chinese desperate to move their assets out of their country amid an economic slowdown.

In the United States, the EB-5 programme has also sparked concerns about possible scams.

About 15% of the $976.4m-project, known as One Journal Square, will be funded through the EB-5 programme, according to Kushner Companies.