Manhattan skyscraper deal between Kushner, Chinese firm collapse.....$7.5 billion project raised conflict-of-interest concerns

 Published: Mar 29, 2017 8:48 p.m. ET
Negotiations between New York real-estate developer Kushner Cos. and a large Chinese company over a planned $7.5 billion tower in Manhattan collapsed amid an outcry over possible conflicts of interest involving the Trump administration.
Anbang Insurance Group Co., which has close political and family ties to the Chinese government, began pursuing a possible investment of as much as $1.25 billion in the project at 666 Fifth Ave. last July, according to people familiar with the discussions.
But Anbang began backing away from the deal in recent weeks as it became a lightning rod for critics of the Trump administration who have said President Donald Trump and some of his top advisers haven’t taken sufficient steps to avoid possible conflicts between their government roles and their former businesses.
Jared Kushner, a senior White House official and Trump’s son-in-law, had been running the family-controlled Kushner business before last year’s election and was involved in the early discussions with Anbang. To protect against potential conflicts, he has sold his personal stake in 666 Fifth Ave. and other properties to family members. Critics said that didn’t go far enough, noting that Jared Kushner was involved in foreign policy and might be influenced by a deal with a Chinese firm that enriched his family.

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