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Kushner's family to skip China roadshows

13 May, 2017, 10:07 | Author: Paula Vaughn
  • Chinese staff wait for investors at a reception desk during an event promoting EB-5 investment in a Kushner Companies development at a hotel in Shanghai China Sunday

As NPR's Rob Schmitz reports, Meyer had been scheduled to deliver a presentation in the southern city of Shenzhen, seeking to sell Chinese investors on the EB-5 visa - a controversial federal program that offers a path to permanent residence for investors who create at least 10 full-time jobs for USA workers. Promotional materials for the event also noted the Kushner family's "celebrity" status.

Last Saturday, Meyer spoke to Chinese investors in Beijing, seeking $150 million in financing for a Jersey City housing development known as One Journal Square. "Kushner Companies apologises if that mention of her brother was in any way interpreted as an attempt to lure investors".

But a company spokesman told AFP in a brief statement today: "No one from Kushner Companies will be in China this weekend".

During her presentation, Meyer stressed that the luxury building project in New Jersey "means a lot to me and my entire family", later mentioning her brother, a senior adviser to the president, by name.

Last weekend, the company came under fire after it appeared to use its connection to the white house to raise money for its planned luxury apartment complex.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, a longtime critic of the EB-5 program, said Thursday that Kushner's sister may have left investors with the false impression that they would get special treatment because of her brother's position in the White House.

Grassley urged Kelly "to clarify and affirm that no foreign investors will receive preferential treatment, that applications will be processed in the order in which they are received - subject to any existing backlog - and that future applications will be subject to the proposed regulations, when approved".

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That potential deal had raised questions about a conflict of interest.

$5,00,000 The minimum business investment in the US' EB-5 programme. But critics say loopholes have allowed deep-pocketed developers to finance lucrative projects in well-to-do urban areas instead of drawing jobs to needier areas, as the law intended. Kushner's lawyer Blake Roberts said last weekend that Kushner is not involved with his family's company.

"We'll respond to the senator appropriately", DHS spokesman David Lapan said.

The White House and Jared Kushner did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

"The dinner occurred before he was confirmed as secretary of homeland security, and he had no knowledge of the EB-5 program until recently", Lapan said.

Trump has already renewed the program without any changes this year, but the White House also told the Times this month that it "is evaluating wholesale reform of the EB-5 program".


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