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World
19 Feb 2018

Why is Trump Jr's dinner offer in India being criticized?

Donald Trump Jr. criticized for India marketing campaign

Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son of the US President, is arriving in India to launch the 47-storey luxury Trump Towers project in Gurugram.

As part of a marketing-campaign, investors in the project are being given a chance to have "conversation and dinner" with Trump Jr.

However, corruption watchdogs are criticizing, saying the Trump family is cashing in on the President's name.

Here's more.

In context

Donald Trump Jr. criticized for India marketing campaign
Newspapers run full-page ads about Trump Towers' launch

Newspaper Ads

Newspapers run full-page ads about Trump Towers' launch

Several national newspapers in India have published full-page ads on their front pages about the launch of Trump Towers, featuring Trump Jr., that read: "Trump is here. Are you invited?" and "Trump has arrived. Have you?"

The ads claimed that anyone who agrees to buy a flat in the Trump Towers project before 21 February can meet and have dinner with Trump Jr.

India

India, an important property market for Trump Organization

The Gurugram Trump Towers are being developed by the Trump Organization and Indian partners. The Trump Organization, where Trump Jr. is the Executive Director now, has interests in businesses like real estate, property management, investing, brokerage, sales, and marketing.

India is the biggest property market for the Trump Organization outside the US. The group earned $3mn in royalties from Indian ventures in 2016.

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Criticism

Trump family using President's name to promote business

Trump Jr's marketing campaign for Gurugram Trump Towers has drawn criticism from many.

Daniel Markey, who held South Asia portfolio on Secretary's Policy Planning Staff at the US Department of State during 2003-07, said Trump Jr's involvement in the Indian venture was surprising.

A watchdog organization, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), said Trump Jr. is using President's name for commercial gains.

Historian-biographer Patrick French of Ahmedabad University criticizes Trump Jr. ad

Indian Relationships

Been building relationships in India for years: Trump Jr.

Meanwhile, Trump Jr. stated he has been "building relationships" in India for years.

He claimed that he spent a decade "cultivating relationships in India" and the Trump Organization is "now seeing the response of that effort," reported The Guardian.

During his week-long India visit, he would speak at Delhi's Global Business Summit on 23-24 February to be attended by PM Modi, politicians, and businessmen.

Trump family using President's name to influence business deals

Personal Business

Trump family using President's name to influence business deals

President Trump handed over the reins of his business empire to sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, before his presidential inauguration.

However, the US Office of Government Ethics said it wasn't enough to ensure no conflict of interest between the President's politics and personal business.

Critics claim President Trump still gains from the family business, accusing the Trumps of using connections to influence business deals.

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