Trump criticizes China but has bank account in the country, NYT says

Washington DC, Oct 20 (efe-epa).- The United States president, who is engaged in a trade and political war with the Beijing government, maintains a bank account in China, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

The account is controlled by Trump International Hotels Management L.L.C., which paid taxes in the Asian country between 2013 and 2015 and was set up “to explore the potential for hotel deals in Asia,” according to the newspaper.

While Donald Trump criticizes American firms that do business with China, his “own business history is filled with overseas financial deals, and some have involved the Chinese state,” The New York Times says.

So, while he is turning the heat on his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, with questions about his position on China, President Trump’s taxes reveal details about his own activities in the Asian country, including this previously unknown bank account.

According to NYT, Trump and his allies have tried, throughout the election campaign, to paint the Democratic candidate as being soft on China, partly by pointing to his son’s business in that country.

However, China is one of only three foreign countries, the others being Britain and Ireland, where Trump maintains a bank account, according to an analysis of the president’s tax records, which were obtained by The New York Times.

These foreign accounts do not appear among the financial data made public by Trump, where he must list personal assets, because they are held under corporate names.

And the tax records do not include details of the amount of money that may have passed through overseas accounts although the US Internal Revenue Service requires taxpayers to report the portion of their income earned in other countries.

The accounts in Britain and Ireland are held by companies operating Trump’s golf courses in Scotland and Ireland, which regularly report millions of dollars in revenue from these countries.

Trump International Hotels Management reported only a few thousand dollars from China ($188,561)

Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, told NYT that the company “opened an account with a Chinese bank having offices in the United States in order to pay the local taxes” associated with efforts to do business there.

He said that the company had opened the bank account after setting up an office in China “to explore the potential for hotel deals in Asia.”

“No deals, transactions or other business activities ever materialized and, since 2015, the office has remained inactive. Though the bank account remains open, it has never been used for any other purpose,” he added.

As with Russia, where he unsuccessfully explored hotel and tower projects in Moscow, Trump has long sought an agreement to operate in China.

His efforts date back to at least 2006, when he filed trademark applications in Hong Kong and the mainland. Many Chinese government approvals came about after he became president.

His daughter, Ivanka Trump, also obtained Chinese trademark approvals for her business after joining the White House staff.

It is difficult to determine, from the tax records, exactly how much money Trump has spent trying to get business in China, the newspaper acknowledges.

Records show that he has invested at least $192,000 in five small businesses created specifically to carry out projects there over the years.

These companies claimed at least $97,400 in business expenses since 2010, including some minor payments for taxes and accounting fees in 2018.

Outside China, Trump has had more success in attracting wealthy Chinese buyers for his properties in other countries.

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