Trump junior to entertain luxury flat buyers in India

Dozens of property investors and their families will be treated to dinner with Donald Trump junior in Delhi this week. (AFP)
Updated 19 February 2018
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Trump junior to entertain luxury flat buyers in India

NEW DELHI: Dozens of property investors and their families will be treated to dinner with Donald Trump junior in Delhi this week after snapping up flats in a Trump Towers luxury development on the outskirts of the Indian capital.
Trump’s local partners have promised dinner with the US president’s son to anyone who buys into the development of high-rise apartments boasting floor-to-ceiling windows, state of the art amenities and a “lifestyle concierge.”
At 2.5 million rupees (around $39,000) just for the downpayment on the smallest and cheapest flat, that is well beyond most Indians.
Nonetheless around 75 people have already stumped up and Indian developer Tribeca expects that number to increase to 100 before the promotion deadline expires on Thursday, a staff member told AFP on condition of anonymity.
“The meeting is a token of gratitude to the clients for showing tremendous faith in the upcoming project,” said the Tribeca employee.
The 47-story towers will comprise 250 homes and are expected to be completed by 2023, with price ranging from 55-110 million rupees ($850,000-$1.7 million).
Adverts in Indian newspapers on Monday promised prospective buyers their neighbors would include a “renowned industrialist,” “art maestro” and “famous Indian cricketer” — although it was not clear whether this was based on the identity of the existing buyers.
“Trump is here. Are you invited? read the full-page advert in Monday’s Times of India.
The development is in the modern satellite city of Gurgaon, where many major companies now have their headquarters.
India is already the Trump Organization’s biggest international market, with developments in four major cities — Mumbai, Pune, Gurgaon and Kolkata.
All are being built with local partners, with the Trump Organization giving permission to use its brand and taking a share of the profits.
According to media reports, the estimated cost of developing these projects is $1.5 billion.
The Trump family earned $3 million in royalties in 2016 from ventures in India, according to a New York Times report.
Trump junior and his brother now head the company after their father stood down when he became president amid concerns over a conflict of interest.
Although the US embassy says he is in Delhi on an unofficial visit, Trump junior is due to speak on Indo-Pacific relations at a business conference on Friday at which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the keynote speaker.
The luxury property in Gurgaon is being developed by Indian firms Tribeca and M3M, with construction expected to start toward the end of the year.
India’s residential property market has struggled in recent years, hit by a glut in urban centers combined with the impact of a 2016 move to tackle tax evasion with a ban on high-value banknotes.


EU slaps tariffs on US as trade war erupts

Updated 53 min 38 sec ago
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EU slaps tariffs on US as trade war erupts

  • Customs agents across Europe’s colossal market of 500 million people will now impose the duty, hiking prices on US-made products in supermarkets and across factory floors
  • Donald Trump claimed America had been obliged to levy the metals tariffs as it has been exploited as the world’s “piggy bank”

BRUSSELS: The EU slapped revenge tariffs on iconic US products including bourbon, jeans and motorcycles on Friday in its opening salvo in a trade war with President Donald Trump.
The tariffs, which took effect at midnight (2200 GMT Thursday) according to the EU’s official journal, will further fuel jitters on world stock markets that are already alarmed by trade tensions between the US and China.
Customs agents across Europe’s colossal market of 500 million people will now impose the duty, hiking prices on US-made products in supermarkets and across factory floors.
“These measures are the logical consequence of the US decision,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said.
“They reflect a Europe that is resolute and principled,” he said.
Brussels imposed the raft of duties on US products worth €2.8 billion ($3.3 billion) in a tit-for-tat response to Trump’s decision to slap stiff tariffs on European steel and aluminum exports.
Global markets on Friday took the development in stride, with stocks in Europe firm after weeks of instability on trade worries.
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said this week that the 28-nation bloc was “left with no other choice” but to impose tariffs of its own after the “unilateral and unjustified decision of the US.”
Together with US tariffs against Mexico and Canada, the trade battles have raised the spectre of a global trade war, spooking financial markets that fear major consequences to the global economy.
“We have a trade war — and it’s an escalating trade war,” SEB chief economist Robert Bergqvist said in an interview.
Brussels first drew up the list in March when Trump initially floated the 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum, which also target Canada, Mexico and other close allies.
The list does not specifically name brands but European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker spelled out in March that the bloc would target “Harley-Davidson, bourbon and Levi’s jeans.”
Cranberries, cranberry juice, orange juice, sweetcorn and peanut butter are among the other food products targeted.
Juncker said on Thursday that the US decision to impose tariffs “goes against all logic and history.”
“Our response must be clear but measured. We will do what we have to do to rebalance and safeguard,” he said.
European consumers would be able to find “alternatives,” European Commission Vice President for trade Jyrki Katainen said.
“If we chose products like Harley Davidson, peanut butter and bourbon, it’s because there are alternatives on the market. We don’t want to do anything that would harm consumers,” he said on Thursday.
“What’s more, these products will have a strong symbolic political impact.”
International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde warned on Thursday that trade war, as well as Brexit, were the key risks to the eurozone economy.
While she didn’t see a serious “direct impact of tariff increases... it’s a trend that is worrying, the breach of confidence that undermines confidence,” she said on the sidelines of eurozone minister talks in Luxembourg.
Transatlantic ties are at their lowest level for many years due to rows over a host of issues including the Paris climate agreement and the Iran nuclear deal.
Relations plumbed new depths at the recent G7 summit when Trump abruptly rejected the joint statement and bitterly insulted his Canadian host, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Trump claimed America had been obliged to levy the metals tariffs as it has been exploited as the world’s “piggy bank.” He is also targeting EU auto imports with a US probe now underway.
Trump’s outbursts were the latest in which he has clashed with America’s closest allies, even as he has had warm words for autocrats like North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with whom he had a historic meeting earlier this month, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
But US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs Wess Mitchell said on Thursday that Trump’s approach toward his allies was about “strategic renovation.”
“Strengthening the West means making hard decisions today when we initially disagree, rather than continuing to accept the appearance of transatlantic unity,” he told the Carnegie Europe think-tank in Brussels.