International media outlets report that after cancelling a hotel deal with Azerbaijan, the United States (US) President-elect Donald Trump is taking steps to do the same for a project in Georgia.
Tramp cancels hotel deal with Georgia
By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, Decembr 19
The Associated Press (AP) reports that both projects either involved or were associated with people tied to politics, partnerships that could have raised problems once Donald Trump becomes president.
The AP says that governmen experts have been urging Trump to sell his vast holdings and hand the cash to someone with no ties to the president-elect to invest in a way unknown to him, following the practice of most recent presidents. They say ridding himself of his ownership stake in his business, not just managerial control, is the only way to assure he won't put private profit ahead of the public interest in shaping tax, regulatory and foreign policies.
Trump lawyer Alan Garten said on Friday that developers in the projects in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Brazil failed to meet terms of licensing deals. He described the moves as "normal housekeeping" and not part of a strategy to reduce potential conflicts of interests.
He said the Trump Organization had no moves underway to cancel any other overseas ventures.
The Georgia project was for a tower in the Black Sea resort town of Batumi. Garten said the president-elect's company sent a "default notice" earlier this month to the developer because it had not met to terms of the licensing deal.
Trump layer described the move as typically first step for canceling a deal.
Just last week, Trump's development partner told Bloomberg News that the long-stalled project would go ahead, and that "talks are on".
Meanwhile, the reports say that the moves by the Trump Organization follow a cancellation earlier this week of a licensing deal for a hotel in Brazil. The New York-based company also recently shut down four companies registered in Delaware that appear connected with a possible Saudi Arabia business venture.
Donald Trump visited Georgia in April 2012 in order to present projects of two luxury towers to be built in the capital Tbilisi and in Batumi.
The project of Trump Tower Batumi envisaged the investment of $250 million to build a five-star, 47-storey residential building to be developed in Georgia’s Black Sea town. According to the initial plan, construction of the Trump Tower in Batumi was scheduled to begin in 2013 but was put on hold.