Foreign governments taking on projects that benefit Trump brand: report

Foreign governments taking on projects that benefit Trump brand: report
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Some foreign governments have taken actions that benefit or facilitate Trump-branded projects abroad, raising questions about whether such moves are intended to curry favor with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE's administration, according to a McClatchy report.

In Indonesia, Bali's local government is planning to build a toll road that would shorten travel time between the island's Ngurah Rai International Airport and an upcoming Trump-branded resort and golf course, McClatchy reported on Tuesday.

“According to the local Government’s master plan, there is now a plan to develop a toll road extension that will shorten the distance between the Ngurah Rai International Airport and MNC Bali Resort,” the project's developer, MNC Land, said in its 2016 annual report.

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“When the work is completed, the travel time from the airport to MNC Bali Resort or vice versa will only be about 25 minutes,” the report added.

Also in Indonesia, a state-owned construction company is building a toll road that would shorten the travel time from Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, to another Trump project — a theme park and golf course called Lido City. 

Lido City is also being developed by MNC Land, which is expected to pay for construction, according to McClatchy. 

While the Trump Organization does not own the properties, the company licenses out the Trump name and manages the developments.

The Panamanian government has also taken over a project to create a sewer and water system that would benefit Trump International Hotel & Tower Panama after the company that was originally awarded the contract went bankrupt, according to McClatchy.

Beyond that, other governments in foreign countries have eased environmental regulations, given public land and granted permits for projects bearing the Trump name, McClatchy reported.

“Because the developments you are referring to are all license deals owned and developed by others, any improvements made to the local infrastructure provide no benefit to the Trump Organization or any of its affiliates,” Alan Garten, executive vice president and chief legal officer for the Trump Organization, told McClatchy. 

Trump has faced criticism from watchdog groups and ethics experts since the beginning of his presidency, because of his continued ownership of his real estate empire.

Some groups, like Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, have filed lawsuits alleging that Trump's business ties put him in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits the president from accepting gifts or other benefits from foreign governments.

A U.S. District judge dismissed two of those lawsuits last month, saying that the plaintiffs failed to show damages.

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.