This survey of Donald Trump's global business projects raises several red flags

Donald Trump's Mumbai project is just one conflict of interest
(Image credit: Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images)

"I've built a very great company and it's a big company and it's all over the world," Donald Trump boasted to The New York Times last week. That company, The Trump Organization, has business operations in at least 20 countries, though "Trump's global financial entanglements is unclear, since he has refused to release his tax returns and has not made public a list of his lenders," The New York Times notes, in a long look at Trump's business dealings and the conflicts of interest already showing up before the president-elect takes office.

See more

The Times report focused on six countries: Brazil, India, Turkey, the Philippines, Ireland, and Scotland. Trump is not putting his company in independent hands or a blind trust, so there will be "tensions between his priorities as president and the needs and objectives of his companies," The Times says. "There has been very little division, in the weeks since the election, between Mr. Trump's business interests and his transition effort." Even if the Trumps "seek no special advantages from foreign governments," there will be perceived incentives for countries to help President Trump's businesses, and Trump's actions so far — including having daughter Ivanka participate in at least three calls with foreign leaders since the election — haven't been encouraging, The Times reports:

Mr. Trump's family appears to have been preparing for the transition to the Oval Office and ways to capitalize on it both in the United States and around the globe. In April, even before Mr. Trump had secured the Republican nomination, his business moved to trademark the name American Idea for use in branding hotels, spas, and concierge services, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It was one of more than two dozen trademark applications that Mr. Trump and members of his family filed in the United States and around the world while he was running for president. [The New York Times]

"In theory, I can be president of the United States and run my business 100 percent, sign checks on my business," Trump told The New York Times, adding, "but I am phasing that out now, and handing that to Eric Trump and Don Trump and Ivanka Trump for the most part, and some of my executives." Read more about Trump's known business entanglements at The New York Times.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.