Sábado, 27 May, 2017

Jared Kushner's sister woos China's "golden visa" investors

Chinese staff wait for investors at a reception desk during an event promoting EB-5 investment in a Kushner Companies development at a hotel in Shanghai China Sunday Jared Kushner's sister woos China's 'golden visa' investors
Irune Rengel | 20 May, 2017, 03:37

Meyer was looking for investors under the U.S. EB-5 visa program, which gives wealthy foreign investors permanent American residency if they invest at least a half million dollars in a U.S. business that creates 10 jobs.

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 United States media reports.

Kushner's sister, Nicole Kushner Meyer, took to the stage at Beijing's Ritz-Carlton hotel on Saturday as part of a tour of mainland cities to attract wealthy Chinese investors into a New Jersey luxury development with the chance of getting a USA green card in return. One, it provides an unusual degree of confidence that the investment/bribe will in fact produce the visa they're after (which federal immigration bureaucrat would dare slow-walk a Kushner investor?), and two, it carries the potential for a relationship with the president himself.

Kushner Companies appears to have learned their lesson from Saturday's event.

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The Kushner family has apologized for bringing up its connection to the Trump administration while hawking real estate investments to Chinese businesspeople looking for US visas. The company says about 15% of it will be funded through the EB-5 program.

Backlash for a sales pitch from Jared Kushner's family firm to Chinese investors came quickly, with one former White House ethics advisor calling the weekend's presentation "corruption, pure and simple". With the clock ticking until the program's new expiration date, September 30, the president has a chance to get behind efforts to end the hopelessly inefficient and corruption-prone EB-5 program before it causes more embarrassment. Public relations representatives told the Washington Post that their presence threatened the "stability" of the event and that they didn't want reporters talking to anybody because: "This is not the story we want". Her relationship to Jared Kushner was also mentioned during the presentation hosted by Chinese company Qiaowai, the Washington Post reported. Part of the presentation was spent telling those in attendance that rules surrounding said visa - which offers a fast track to USA citizenship - could be changing soon. Promotional materials distributed at the event introduced Meyer and Kushner's sister and prominently displayed images of Donald Trump.

Kushner Companies on Monday said that it didn't mean to mention Jared Kushner's role in the Trump administration in order to reel in Chinese investors to help fund a development in New Jersey.

Speakers at the Beijing event described Trump as a "key decision maker" on the fate of the EB-5 program, according to the New York Times. The minimum investment requirement is $1 million, unless the project is in a rural area or high-unemployment area.

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This prospective luxury apartment building is One Journal Square (and thus near to a commuter rail station leading to both Wall Street and mid-town Manhattan) and is not to be confused with Trump Bay Street, an earlier Jersey City Kushner development that used the Trump name under a licensing agreement.

When asked about the connection, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer commented simply, "I would refer you to the company on that".

If the Trump administration sees it through, lawmakers would have an opportunity to see the effects before taking any further legislative action. They were told by organizers that it was a "private event", despite it being publicly advertised.

During her seven-minute speech at Shanghai's Four Seasons Hotel on Sunday, Kushner Meyer did not mention her brother or Trump, talking instead about her family's history since her grandparents went to the United States as refugees in the 1940s.

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