Mon, May 08, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Trump adviser’s company courting Chinese investors

AFP, BEIJING

A footage of US President Donald Trump is shown on a screen as workers wait for investors at a reception desk during an event promoting EB-5 investment in a Kushner Companies development at a hotel in Shanghai, yesterday.

Photo: AP

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

Kushner’s sister Nicole Kushner Meyer was in Beijing on Saturday, seeking US$150 million in investment, or 15.4 percent of funding for the project, in a luxury apartment complex project in New Jersey called One Journal Square, according to US media reports.

Jared Kushner, 36, is a senior adviser to US President Donald Trump with far-reaching influence over domestic and foreign policy, and stepped down from the family company in January to serve in the administration.

However, eyebrows have been raised as the Chinese investment sought by his family is to be funnelled through the US EB-5 visa program.

The program offers foreign nationals permanent residency — commonly known as a green card — in exchange for investments of at least US$500,000 in a US business that must also create 10 US jobs.

The New York Times reported that the family business’ investment drive is also “highlighting their ties to Mr Kushner as they court investors.”

Speaking before more than 100 investors at Beijing’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Nicole Kushner Meyer said 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 report added.

Photographs of the event showed promotional posters bearing the slogan: “Government supports it; celebrity property developer builds it.”

Organizers yesterday barred journalists from a publicly advertised event in Shanghai to attract investors to One Journal Square.

“Sorry, this is a private event,” said a man stopping journalists from entering a function room at the Four Seasons Hotel.

The EB-5 program was created in 1990 to help stimulate the US economy through job creation and capital investment from foreign nationals, but detractors say it puts US citizenship up for sale.

Nearly 90 percent of EB-5 visas were issued to Chinese nationals in 2014, when the program reached its quota of 10,000 visas.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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