Trump Jr. ‘loves’ Indian media covering his business visit

Executive Vice President of The Trump organisation, Donald Trump Jr. (R), speaks during the Global Business Summit in New Delhi on Friday. (AFP)
Updated 24 February 2018
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Trump Jr. ‘loves’ Indian media covering his business visit

NEW DELHI: The US president’s son heaped praise on the Indian media and complained of coverage at home, as he neared the end of a whirlwind trip across India promoting Trump-brand luxury real estate.
Donald Trump Jr. said at an Indian business summit Friday that life since his father’s election “has been difficult from a family standpoint,” but that he’d enjoyed the coverage he’d received during this trip.
“I love the Indian media. They are so mild and nice,” he said to audience laughter, describing how he felt his comments have at times been twisted by some US news outlets. Even when Indian outlets are aggressive in their coverage: “They’ve at least been fair,” he said.
Trump has met only with Indian reporters carefully selected by his team, and the media coverage of his visit often focused on the promised luxury of the real estate developments he is selling.
With summer already approaching, New Delhi is far too warm for cozy fires, but flames flickered on a video screen behind Trump Jr. as he was interviewed by a TV anchor with the channel co-hosting the Global Business Summit.
His speech was retitled by conference organizers only hours before it was delivered amid criticism he was pushing an ethics boundary by talking about foreign policy during a private trip focused on the family business. Very quickly, “Reshaping Indo-Pacific Ties: The Era of Cooperation” became “A Fireside Chat with Donald Trump Jr. “
Critics had said an international relations speech, especially while sharing a platform with Indian government officials, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was problematic because of the implication that he has his father’s ear.
“I am concerned that Mr. Trump’s speech will send the mistaken message that he is speaking on behalf of the president, the administration or the United States government, not as a private individual, or that he is communicating official American policy,” Sen. Robert Menendez, ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a letter earlier this week to the US Embassy in New Delhi.
Menendez said he expected the US State Department and the embassy would treat Trump Jr. like any other American on private business.
On Thursday, White House spokeswoman Lindsay E. Walters said the Trump administration “takes seriously its obligation to ensure that government resources are not used to provide a private benefit to anyone.”
The State Department and the White House have said the only support that was given for the trip was related to Secret Service protection for Trump Jr.
His India visit has already raised ethical concerns.
President Trump has pledged to stay away from any new foreign business deals during his term in office to avoid potential ethical conflicts. While the projects that Trump Jr. is promoting in India were inked before his father was elected, ethics experts have long seen the use of the Trump name to promote even existing business ventures as tricky territory.
Trump Jr. and his brother Eric have been running the Trump Organization, the family’s real estate business, during their father’s presidency.
Since Tuesday, Trump Jr. has been traveling to four Indian cities to meet business partners and buyers in the luxury residential projects that bear his family’s name.
With five ventures under the Trump brand, India has the company’s largest number of projects outside the United States. The Trump Organization charges a licensing fee to its Indian partners who build the properties under the Trump name. A luxury complex is already open in the central city of Pune while the others are in varying stages of construction in Mumbai and Kolkata and two in the New Delhi suburb of Gurgaon.
Speaking to an Indian TV station during his visit, Trump Jr. dismissed as “nonsense” claims that his family business is benefiting from his father’s presidency and that critics forget the opportunities lost and don’t give the family credit for doing the right thing.


Oil jumps as market tightens, more gains seen

Updated 24 September 2018
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Oil jumps as market tightens, more gains seen

  • Brent crude hit its highest since May at $80.47 per barrel
  • Commodity traders Trafigura and Mercuria said that Brent could rise to $90 per barrel by Christmas

LONDON: Oil prices rose 2 percent on Monday as US sanctions restricted Iranian crude exports, tightening global supply, with some traders forecasting a spike in crude to as much as $100 per barrel.
Brent crude hit its highest since May at $80.47 per barrel, up $1.63 or more than 2 percent, before easing back slightly to around $80.40 by 0730 GMT. US light crude was $1.18 higher at $71.96.
US commercial crude oil inventories are at their lowest since early 2015 and although US oil production is near a record high of 11 million barrels per day (bpd), subdued US drilling activity points toward a slowdown in output.
Commodity traders Trafigura and Mercuria said on Monday that Brent could rise to $90 per barrel by Christmas and pass $100 in early 2019, as markets tighten once US sanctions against Iran are fully implemented from November.
J.P. Morgan says US sanctions on Iran could lead to a loss of 1.5 million bpd, while Mercuria warned that as much as 2 million bpd could be knocked out of the market.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries as well as top producer Russia are discussing raising output to counter falling supply from Iran, although no decision has been made public yet.
OPEC leader Saudi Arabia and its biggest oil-producer ally outside the group, Russia, on Sunday ruled out any immediate extra increase in output, effectively rebuffing a call by US President Donald Trump for action to cool the market.
“I do not influence prices,” Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih told reporters as OPEC and non-OPEC energy ministers gathered in Algiers for a meeting that ended with no formal recommendation for any additional supply boost.
A source familiar with OPEC discussions told Reuters on Friday that OPEC and other producers have been discussing the possibility of raising output by 500,000 bpd.
“We expect that those OPEC countries with available spare capacity, led by Saudi Arabia, will increase output but not completely offset the drop in Iranian barrels,” said Edward Bell, commodity analyst at Emirates NBD bank.
JP Morgan said in its latest market outlook, published on Friday, that “a spike to $90 per barrel is likely” for oil prices in the coming months due to the Iran sanctions.
Struggling with high crude prices and a weak rupee, Indian refiners are preparing to cut back crude imports.