US row over Trump’s meeting with Indian business partners
A top American daily has raised questions over the recent meeting between Donald Trump and his Indian business partners, saying the President-elect could use his position to advance his business interests.
“Washington ethics lawyers said that a meeting with Indian real estate partners, regardless of what was discussed, raised conflict of interest questions for Mr Trump, who could be perceived as using the presidency to advance his business interests,” The New York Times said in a news article.
Three Indian executives Sagar Chordia, Atul Chordia and Kalpesh Mehta had met Trump in New York last week. The three said that they have discussed expanding their partnership with the Trump Organisation now that Trump is President-elect.
“It was not a formal meeting of any kind,” Breanna Butler, a spokeswoman for the Trump Organisation told The New York Times, which has been at loggerheads with Trump for the past several months during which Trump has accused the daily of negative reporting about him. “There may be people for whom this looks O K. But for a large part of the American public, it is not going to be O K. His role as President-elect should dictate that someone else handles business matters,” Robert L Walker, former chief counsel of the Senate Ethics Committee, who advises corporations and members of Congress on government ethics issues told the daily.
“Donald Trump’s children and son-in-law have been deeply involved in the transition and selecting who will be part of his administration,” said Noah Bookbinder, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics.
“At the same time they are deeply involved in the business. There does not seem to be any sign of a meaningful separation of Trump government operations and his business operations,” he said. The Trump Organisation said the family was moving to try to formally separate Trump from his family s business ventures.
“Mr Trump is not going to have dealings in the day-to-day business of that organisation,” Butler said.
Meanwhile, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has called on world leaders to forge a more “connected” planet, something he said was under threat after Donald Trump’s US election win and Britain’s “Brexit” vote. Zuckerberg said in a keynote speech at an Asia-Pacific leaders’ summit that while globalisation and interconnectedness have their problems, the world must fight the urge to “disconnect”. “As we are learning this year in election after election, even if globalisation might (boost) prosperity, it also creates inequality. It helps some people and it hurts others,” he said.
The 32-year-old billionaire said there was a “fundamental choice” to make in reacting to that inequality. “We can disconnect, risk less prosperity and hope jobs that are lost come back. Or we can connect more, try to do more great things, try to work on even greater prosperity and then work to aggressively share that prosperity with everyone.”
The second option is better, but also harder, he said in his speech at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Lima, Peru. “Disconnecting is relatively easy. But connecting requires making big investments in infrastructure and generating the political will to make hard, long-term decisions,” he said.
Facebook has made headlines with its projects on connectivity and internet access. The social network has developed solar-powered drones and a satellite to beam internet service to remote areas. The company has helped more than 40 million people get online, Zuckerberg said.
His comments came amid deep global uncertainty afer the unexpected poll results in the US and Britain. Trump and the Brexit camp both appealed to working-class voters who feel threatened by globalisation and immigration, running on a populist politics of disillusionment with an increasingly borderless world.
‘Steve Bannon’s remarks on Asia CEOs are highly objectionable’
Los Angeles: Indians have done very well at all places that require hard work and risk-taking, an Indian- American entrepreneur has said as he criticised the remarks of President-elect Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon who had expressed dismay at the number of Silicon Valley executives
immigranting from Asia.
“The more the rest of the country becomes Silicon Valley the better it is for the country. If you want to create jobs, if you want to create prosperity look at Silicon Valley as a model,” Venktesh Shukla, president of TiE Silicon Valley, said. TiE is the top entrepreneur body of Indian Americans in Silicon Valley and the US.
“The reasons there are so many South Asians in Silicon Valley because it is a meritocracy and quintessential American values of risk taking, hard work and entrepreneurship. Indians have proved to be quite good at it. That s why they are successful,” he said in response to remarks by Bannon.
In a previous interview resurfaced last week, Bannon had suggested that Silicon Valley has too many Asian CEO’s and that international students in the US should go back to where they came from. “When two-thirds or three-quarters of the CEOs in Silicon Valley are from South Asia or from Asia, I think...” Bannon had said.
Shukla said the reason why Silicon Valley is so important to the US because of the culture of meritocracy that it fosters. Silicon Valley is a shining star of the US, he said adding that innovation in US is driven by Silicon Valley.