Noted China lover/hater Donald Trump is finding himself at the center of yet another controversy after it was revealed yesterday that a new 50-story luxury rental complex in Jersey City with his name on it is being made great with the help of millionaire Chinese investor/immigrants.
Bloomberg reports that Trump Bay Street, currently being built by a company owned by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, is financed by tens of millions of dollars from a controversial program that provides big foreign investors with US visas and a path to residence.
The EB-5 visa program calls for an investor to provide a minimum of $500,000 before he is granted a two-year visa, along with a chance at permanent residency in the US for himself and his family. Each year, the program attracts about 10,000 foreign millionaires to the US — 85% of them Chinese. It has recently come under criticism for its rather loose vetting process that doesn’t require applicants to submit proof of education, work qualifications or even the source of their money.
While Trump Bay Street has his name on it and is being built by his son-in-law, it’s unclear how closely Trump is working on the project. The tower is yet another case of Trump, who labels himself as the “BEST builder,” merely selling his trusted last name to a project, while his assistant says that he has no hand in managing its finances.
I am the BEST builder, just look at what I've built. Hillary can't build. Republican candidates can't build. They don't have a clue!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2015
To lure in big money from China, Kushner Companies has released a Chinese-subtitled video ad shot from the driver’s seat of car cruising through Jersey City while The Sopranos theme song, “Woke Up This Morning,” plays in the background.
Apparently, this strategy has met with some success. Bloomberg reports that Trump Bay Street has raised $50 million, a quarter of its funding, via the EB-5 visa program, almost all of it coming from Chinese investors.
Of course, this strategy would seem to be in conflict with at least two of Trump’s chief talking points shouted out over and over again on the (excruciatingly long) campaign trail of limiting immigration and “winning” against China.
China's Communist Party has now publicly praised Obama's reelection. They have never had it so good. Will own America soon.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 8, 2012
I've been warning about China since as early as the 80’s. No one wanted to listen. Now our country is in real trouble. #TimetoGetTough
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2013
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
In regards to China, Trump has said that on his first day of office he will label China as a currency manipulator and also impose some yuge tariffs (like 45% yuge) on the US’s second-largest trading partner. Apparently, another one of his “winning” tactics may be to make sure that even if China has more billionaires than the US, it will always be losing in millionaires.
China is not our friend. They are not our ally. They want to overtake us, and if we don’t get smart and tough soon, they will.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2013
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2016
In the end, if the fact that he likes his steak well-done didn’t bring Trump down, we can’t imagine that this scandal will either. We also can’t image this will be the last we hear of Trump and China, China, China, China…