According to numerous recent reports, President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is negotiating a $400 million dollar deal that could be a major conflict of interest. The deal is between him and Anbang Insurance Group, which is a Chinese company that is affiliated with one of the most prominent communist families. Kushner is looking to sell them a large share of his real estate company’s skyscraper on Fifth Avenue, which, other than its esteemed location, isn’t much to look at.
Many feel that, through this deal, Anbang Insurance Group is trying to gain influence into the United State’s government by becoming closer to Trump. The rates of luxury hotels in Manhattan have been falling as have the prices of multi-million dollar penthouses, so it seems odd that Wu Xiaohui, chairman of Anbang Insurance Group, would want to invest in something like this.
The deal would push the value of the tower to $2.8 billion. Anbang also plans to complete a renovation to it, which will drive the value up to $7 billion. So, if all goes as plan, the duo stands to own the most valuable piece of real estate in New York.
Minxin Pei, who is a professor of Chinese politics and corruption at Claremont McKenna College, said that by doing business with Kushner, Wu is gaining political prestige and that is a priceless possession for him.
But by going into business with Wu, Kushner could be establishing one of the biggest conflicts of interest that any other person in Trump’s cabinet has engaged in. Many are concerned that, by negotiating this deal, Kushner is putting America’s interests up for sale.