Thursday, 30 March 2017

Labour, Glasgow and Equal Pay

A number of readers been in touch about Frank McAveety's curious failure to take up my invitation to write a piece for the blog site setting out the Glasgow Labour Party's position in relation to equal pay.

"Frank's running scared," said a regular reader from Govan. "And he's right to be ashamed of the Labour Party's track record in Glasgow because they've had 10 full years to sort this mess out."

Another observed scathingly:

"A senior official in Glasgow walks away with a leaving package worth over £450,000 yet the City Council's lowest paid workers are still fighting for their rights to equal pay - what kind of Labour message does that send?"

A third person sent me a headline from the Evening Times which includes the bold claim that 'Labour puts inequality at the top of Glasgow council election' - followed by their own pithy comment:

"You couldn't make this up - this is a Labour council having a laugh at our expense. What a shambles.

Damned right - I couldn't put it better myself!

Labour puts inequality top of Glasgow council election agendaLabour Councillor Frank McAveety

Which is why if you ask me, that Frank and Glasgow's Labour Group deserve to be thrown out on their ear at the local council elections on 4th May 2017.


Glasgow and Equal Pay (28/03/17)

As regular readers know, I contacted the leaders of the SNP and Labour Groups at Glasgow City Council recently and asked Cllr Susan Aitken and Cllr Frank McAveety to set out their respective stalls over equal pay.

Cllr Aitken responded to my email straight away and said she would be delighted to write a piece for the blog site whereas I'm still waiting to hear anything, even an acknowledgement, from Frank McAveety.  

So here's what the Leader of the SNP Opposition Group at Glasgow City Council has to say about the long fight for equal pay which if you ask me, is a real breath of fresh air compared to the foot-dragging antics of the current Labour administration whose own leader has nothing to say.


Glasgow and Equal Pay

"The issue of equal pay for women working for Glasgow City Council has been a stain on the reputation of the city for years. The handling of the issue by Glasgow City Council has been disgraceful, with thousands of employees – mostly women in lower paid posts – waiting over ten years for a resolution to their case.

"SNP Councillors in Glasgow have maintained a close watching brief on progress, through senior officer briefings, union updates and representations by staff directly. We are united in our belief that the Council must reach a satisfactory resolution to this dispute, as quickly as possible, and we are aware of the upcoming cases at the Court of Session in late April and early May.

"This situation has gone on long enough. Should the SNP form a City Government for Glasgow on the 4th of May, we will take steps to resolve this dispute and to introduce a range of measures to improve working relations between the Council and those who work so hard providing services for Glaswegians every single day.

"We will work with trade unions, and others representing women who were victims of discriminatory pay policies, with the aim of resolving and settling all outstanding equal pay claims within this Council term. We will also create a workforce and Staff Governance Board, comprising trade unions, cross-party elected representatives and senior officers.

"We will appoint a political lead for Workforce and Staff Governance, who will be charged with ensuring that our manifesto pledges relating to staff are implemented across the Council family and that the principles of partnership working are embedded in our relationships with trade unions. We will also ensure that the Public Sector Equality Duty is fully adhered to in all of the Council’s dealings with our employees.

"To ensure that such situations don’t arise in future, we will undertake a review of Human Resources policies and procedures across the Council family, to ensure that they reflect and respond to our commitments to partnership working and fair treatment. We will also trade union representation on the board of each remaining ALEO. 

"We are committed to no compulsory redundancies and the principles of collective bargaining and negotiation. All Council family staff should expect to be paid the Scottish Living Wage. And we will use new Scottish Government procurement legislation to ensure that, wherever possible, businesses and organisations who carry out work on behalf of the Council adhere to fair work practices and decent pay.

"An SNP City Government for Glasgow will refuse to implement the UK government’s current trade union bill or future attempts to diminish workers’ and trade union rights. And we are determined to retain our staff within the Council family, not transferred or outsourced to private corporations where terms and conditions may be at risk.

"But as we refuse to do the work of Westminster Tories, we will regularly and sincerely consult with staff on the impact to their working lives of wider changes of policy and ways of working within the Council, and actively seeking and listening to staff’s ideas about how to improve frontline service delivery. As the experts on delivery of services, we will also listen to and reward staff who suggest better and more effective ways of working.

"Our vision for our workforce is positive. Our determination to right long-standing wrongs is strong. We look forward to the legal arguments being heard next month and for the opportunity to work with our workforce to make working for the Council is rewarding and valued, and that staff feel valued in turn."

Councillor Susan Aitken

Leader of the Opposition 
SNP councillor for Langside ward

Glasgow and Equal Pay (18/03/17)

I have invited the leader of the SNP Opposition Group on Glasgow City Council, Cllr Susan Aitken, to write a piece for the blog site outlining her party's stance on equal pay in the run-up to the local council elections on 4th May 2017.

As regular readers know, I extended the same invitation to the Labour leader Cllr Frank McAveety, the other day, and I think it will be very interesting to compare and contrast what these two politicians have to say.

So watch this space.

Dear Cllr Aitken

Glasgow and Equal Pay

As you may know, I write a blog on a regular basis which covers a wide range of topical issues but has a particular focus on the fight for equal pay in Scotland's local councils.

I would like to invite you to write a 600 word piece for the blog site addressing the long-running dispute with Glasgow City Council over the pay arrangements which flowed from the Workforce Pay and Benefits Review (WPBR) introduced in 2007.

I am extending this invitation to you as the Leader of the SNP Opposition Group in Glasgow City Council and plan to extend the same invitation to the Labour leader, Cllr Frank McAveety.

I am sure your views on Glasgow City Council's handling of equal pay over the past 12 years will be of great interest to the thousands of readers who visit my blog site on a daily basis.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards

Mark Irvine 


Glasgow and Equal Pay (17/03/17)

I have invited the leader Glasgow City Council, Cllr Frank McAveety, to write a piece for the blog site setting out his and the Labour Party's position on equal pay ahead of the local council elections on 4th May 2017.

Here's my letter to Cllr McAveety whom I got to know during my role as an independent external adviser to Glasgow City Council's Public Standards Commission back in 1998.

So let's see what the Labour leader has to say for himself and to the thousands of readers in Glasgow who read my blog site every week.

Dear Cllr McAveety

Glasgow and Equal Pay

As you may know, I write a blog on a regular basis which covers a wide range of topical issues but has a particular focus on the fight for equal pay in Scotland's local councils.

I would like to invite you to write a 600 word piece for the blog site addressing the long-running dispute with Glasgow City Council over the pay arrangements which flowed from the Workforce Pay and Benefits Review (WPBR) introduced in 2007.

I am extending this invitation to you as the Labour leader of Glasgow City Council and I plan to extend the same invitation to the SNP Opposition Group leader, Cllr Susan Aitken.

I am sure your views on Glasgow City Council's handling of equal pay over the past 12 years will be of great interest to the thousands of readers who visit my blog site on a daily basis.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards

Mark Irvine 


The Corbyn Effect

On how [X] is performing at his/her respective job: Approve / Disapprove: T. May: 46 / 33 J. Corbyn: 17 / 58 D. Trump: 18 / 60 (via GfK)

Earlier this year Labour strategists tried to relaunch Jeremy Corbyn as a populist politician with some of the same 'insurgent' appeal as Donald Trump.

Well, it's worked in one respect at least with the Labour leader's approval and disapproval  ratings are right up there alongside the increasingly 'looney tune' American President. 


Corbyn as Trump (11/01/17)

Nothing else has worked, so Jeremy Corbyn's latest wheeze is to try and steal some of Donald Trump's clothes as an snake-oil selling, populist politician.

Not a good look, if you ask me but decide for yourself.

Here's how Jim Waterson on Twitter described the subtle difference between the version of Corby's big Brexit speech as briefed by his official spokesperson - and the one actually delivered by the Labour leader on the day.


Labour's Pushmi-Pullyu (18/11/16)

Image result for push me pull you + doctor dolittle images

Michael Deacon writing in The Telegraph suggests that Labour have achieved the impossible under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership by alienating both the Leave and Remain camps.

And it's true if you ask me, because while Labour MPs like Keir Starmer patiently build a a case which is trying to force the government into explaining exactly what Brexit might look like down the line - the shadow chancellor (John McDonnell) is encouraging us all to be more positive about leaving the European Union.

Not for the first time Corbyn's Labour is facing both ways at the same time when its job is to oppose and deny the government a blank cheque over what Brexit really means.

Well done, Labour. You’re alienating both the Brexiters and the Remainers at once

MICHAEL DEACON - The Telegraph

John McDonnell, the Labour shadow chancellor, delivers a speech in London about the economy and jobs CREDIT: BEN STANSALL/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

What Labour have achieved should be impossible. Yet somehow they’ve managed it.

They’ve convinced people who are pro-Brexit that Labour are anti-Brexit – and convinced people who are anti-Brexit that Labour are pro-Brexit.

Or, to put it another way: they’re alienating both the 52 per cent and the 48 per cent. And becoming the party of the 0 per cent.

On the one hand, they have Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, forensically probing for flaws in Brexit. And on the other, they have John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, who announced in London today that “It’s time we were all more positive about Brexit.”

Basic Hygiene

Image result for Healthcare Environment Inspectorate standards

The news was dominated yesterday by all the talk about Brexit and another Scottish independence referendum - meanwhile the BBC reported that Glasgow's flagship hospital had been criticised for failing basic hygiene standards. 

Which is why far too many patients, particularly elderly patients, become sick and ill after being admitted into hospital, of course.

Cleanliness concerns at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital

BBC Glasgow & West Scotland

Image copyright - NHS GGC

Patient equipment contaminated by blood and faeces have been found during an inspection of a Glasgow hospital.

The Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI) raised "significant concerns" after unannounced visits to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow from 12 to 15 December.

Inspectors found dust and body fluids on patient trolleys and mattresses.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) said the report's recommendations would be rigorously implemented.

Cleanliness in the majority of wards and staff knowledge of standard infection control precautions was found to be generally good.

However, HEI said staff were not always carrying out standard infection control in the emergency department, Immediate Assessment Unit and clinical decisions unit.

Inspectors said the majority of patient trolleys and wheelchairs were dirty, and some were contaminated with blood and body fluids.

Patient and public toilets in the department were also found to be contaminated by blood and faeces.

Concerns were also raised about hand hygiene levels during busy periods, as well as appropriate use of staff protective clothing.

Wrong disinfectant

Poor record keeping was highlighted for infection control in the clinical decisions unit.

The report said staff in this area did not have easy access to chlorine-releasing disinfectant, which is required for cleaning blood and body fluid spillages.

In the immediate assessment unit, one staff member was spotted using detergent wipes to clean a significant blood spillage.

Inspectors also found clinical waste from the neurological intensive therapy unit had not been safely locked away.

A follow-up inspection on 16 and 17 January found that while cleanliness levels had significantly improved, there were still issues surrounding hand hygiene and protective clothing.


NHSGGC nurse director Margaret McGuire said HIS reports were taken extremely seriously.

She raised concerns that not not all of the issues picked up on the first visit had been addressed by the time of the second visit a few weeks later.

She said: "This is unacceptable and I want to publicly assure every one of our patients and their families that the issues raised are now being fully addressed and will be rigorously implemented and maintained going forward.

"We will also ensure that this approach is taken seriously and consistently applied right across all of our hospitals and care settings and all of our staff are committed to this."

She said there had already been significant changes made, including training for staff and more time allocated to domestic duties within the departments.

Dr Jennifer Armstrong, NHSGGC medical director, said it had enlisted the help of Health Protection Scotland to ensure the health board "covered all the bases".

Trump Plays "Fast and Loose'

Image result for all in the family + images]

The Independent reports that Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka is to be found an office in the White House and provided with official security clearance even though she has no formal role in the Trump administration.

Ivanka's husband Jared (Kushner) is already a senior policy adviser to Donald Trump whose  family and business interests are now becoming completely intertwined with the day-to-day running of the American Government.  

So while it's hard to conceive of Donald Trump as the leader of the free world, I think most reasonable people can see that he's playing 'fast and loose' in the White House.

Ivanka Trump mired in White House controversy over West Wing office

Counsel Don McGahn criticised over unanswered conflict of interest concerns relating to President's daughter and loophole exploited by not designating her an 'employee'

By Julie Bykowicz - The Independent

Ivanka Trump participates in a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her father at the White House - Jim Bourg/Reuters

President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump will have a security clearance, a West Wing office and the ear of her father on important policy matters. But don't call her an employee.

When it comes to government work, “employee” is more than just a word. That designation triggers an array of transparency and ethical provisions, including a law prohibiting conflicts of interest.

Government watchdogs are concerned that by refusing to call Ivanka Trump an employee, White House counsel Don McGahn could be attempting to give her a loophole if she improperly mingles her government policy roles with her business and financial interests.

In a letter to McGahn, they ask him to reconsider, saying the position as designed “creates a middle space that does not exist.” It is signed by two former White House lawyers and three other transparency and ethics advocates, all of whom have been highly critical of the Trump administration's approach to ethics.

“On the one hand, her position will provide her with the privileges and opportunities for service that attach to being a White House employee,” they write. “On the other hand, she remains the owner of a private business who is free from the ethics and conflicts rules that apply to all White House employees.”

The White House rejects that notion.

As an adult first daughter with an interest in politics and a clothing and lifestyle brand of her own, Ivanka Trump is in an unprecedented situation. There's no protocol for this, said a senior White House official who requested anonymity to discuss a personnel matter. She's family, not an employee.

All in the Family(21/03/17)

Image result for images of ivanka, merkel and trump

Donald Trump clearly has a weird relationship with his daughter Ivanka who seems to have moved beyond the unprecedented 'First Daughter' role into one where Ivanka regularly sits at the same table as international politicians and visiting heads of state.

In this photo Ivanka is seated next to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and while she seems to be displaying far better manners and social skills that her boorish father, the truth is that the President's daughter has no right to be there.

Unless, of course, you believe that Donald Trump should be able to use the White House and his presidency, quite shamelessly, to promote his family and business interests.


All in The Family (15/02/17)

Here's a lovely photo of a dad and his daughter.

Except for the fact that the daughter is a well-known businesswomen who is exploiting his position as President by arranging a photo-shoot in the White House with the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau.

Americans may rue the day they allowed their 45th President to turn the presidency into a political version of 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians' as the action switches from Pennsylvania Avenue to Donald Trump's private beach resort in Mar-a-Lago to Trump Towers in New York where his wife Melania still lives.

And the laugh is that the bill for securing these different sites is all being met from public expense while Trump Enterprises enjoys the added bonus of free adverting and marketing for their private business interests.

The 'swamp' has never been healthier.  


All in the Family (30(01/17)

Image result for all in the family + images]

'All in the Family' was the American version of 'Till Death Do Us Part' which told the every day tale of a dysfunctional but likeable working class family headed up by an overbearing, narrow-minded bigot.

Alf Garnett was the male lead character in the UK programme and his doppelgänger in the United States was Archie Bunker.

Now there's nothing remotely working class about Donald Trump, of course, though he does appear to have certain things in common with Archie Bunker, as well as drawing inspiration from the American programme's All in the Family title.

What with his daughter Ivanka moving into the White House with her dad, Ivanka's husband Jared Kushner being handed a role as a Trump adviser and Trump's two sons (Eric and Donald Jr) taking over his business interests - Trump seems to have turned the Presidency into a real family affair. 

Lucrative, I'm sure, but I doubt it's smart mover to have so many competing interests and family relationships surrounding the Presidency.


Donald Trump’s Plan to Isolate Himself From His Business Is a Total Sham 

President-elect Donald Trump speaks at a news cenference at Trump Tower on Wednesday in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Donald Trump is milking the technical point that, as president, he would not be legally required to wrest himself from conflicts of interests for all it’s worth. “I have a no-conflict situation, because I’m president,” he said during his Wednesday press conference, after explaining that he just turned down a $2 billion development deal in Dubai. (An admission that raises several million follow-up questions!) This allows Trump to portray every nod toward ethical best practices—and “nod” is generous—as him going above and beyond what is required of him. We are expected to bow.

By JIM NEWELL - Slate Magazine

After taking a few questions on Wednesday, Trump ceded the dais to a tax lawyer, a piece of work named Sheri Dillon. Even though Trump doesn’t have to do anything to isolate himself from conflicts of interest, Dillon explained, “President-elect Trump wants there to be no doubt in the minds of the American public that he is completely isolating himself from his business interests.” She went on to explain exactly how Trump is not completely isolating himself from his business interests.

His assets “have or will be conveyed to a trust by Jan. 20.” His sons Eric and Don Jr. will take over managerial control of the company, and Trump will theoretically never talk to them about business. The company has hired an ethics adviser who will have final say over major company decisions. The company will not make any “new foreign deals” during the course of Trump’s presidency.

This is not, as Dillon promised, a “complete isolation from his business interests,” because it’s not total divestment of his business assets. She explained why they didn’t do that. “Selling his assets without the rights to the brand would greatly diminish the value of the assets and create a fire sale,” she said. “President-elect Trump should not be expected to destroy the company he built.” Two things. That sounds like a Donald Trump problem, not an “us” problem. Also, he could instruct a trust to manage the sale of his assets over time, to avoid the fire sale.

The most egregious announcement from Dillon, though, was that Trump has decided “that he is going to voluntarily donate all profits from foreign government payments made to his hotels to the United States Treasury. This way it is the American people who will profit.” It says something about how stupid of a country we are that Trump would even consider doing this and that people will probably give him credit for it.

Trump is simply setting up a funnel for foreign government donations to the government. Since that funnel runs through his hotel, it boosts the brand value of his hotel and, thus, Trump. It doesn’t prevent diplomats from choosing to stay in his hotel to curry favor with him. It will still flatter him, because he flatters easily. Also, we will never know if he even donates the money, because he doesn’t provide proper accounting documentation for anything, and it’s not clear how “foreign government payments” would be separately accounted for anyway. It’s a joke idea that does nothing and is stupid, and people will applaud it. This is a recurring theme in his life, which is unfortunately now ours, too.

Trump's Achilles Heel (29/01/17)

The map above and the countries coloured in red come under Donald Trump's new refugee ban.

Below and also highlighted in red are countries where the new American President has either tried to do 'deals' or where Trump Enterprises has existing business interests.

The notable 'absentee' from the banned list is Saudi Arabia which is one of the most repressive Islamic countries in the world with with a long track record of exporting Islamist terrorists - including those behind 9/11. 

Since the President's announcement is not linked to any security threat and his new policy makes no sense. 


Trump's Achilles Heel ((19/01/17)

I said in a recent Twitter post that Donald Trump's business interests could prove to be his Achilles heel because the President-elect seems unwilling to divest himself of his many business interests around the world.

Handing things over to his sons or other family members is a bit of a joke if you ask me, since who would believe that Daddy Trump is really capable of keeping his hands off the tiller, so to speak.

Everyone knows Trump can't keep his paws off Twitter for more than 10 minutes, so this may all end in tears.

The BBC has come up with a list of the potential conflicts that Donald Trump will face as he assumes the office of President on Friday, and there is still time for him to wise up and the right thing.

Donald Trump: A list of potential conflicts of interest
BBC US & Canada

Image copyright - REUTERS

Donald Trump's extensive, international business holdings mean he will have to make decisions as leader of the US that also affect his businesses. Here's a look at some of his potential conflicts of interest.

The Trump Organization is an umbrella company for Donald Trump's hundreds of investments in real estate, brands and other businesses.

As head of the executive branch and a business owner, he would have the ability to influence both US policy and government agencies to benefit his bottom line.

Presidents are not subject to the same conflict of interest rules as other government employees, and previous commanders-in-chief have placed their investments into a blind trust to prevent any question of corruption.

Mr Trump has said his adult sons will run the Trump Organization during his presidency, but they are also members of his transition team and have sat in on meetings with foreign leaders.

The president-elect has also said he will "be leaving my great business in total," but has not specified what this means in practice nor announced any major changes.

Ethics experts have urged Trump to liquidate his business holdings so that he can avoid any appearance of a conflict.
Read more here about how the Trump Organization's business works and what it means for the presidency.

Below is a list of known conflicts of interest for Mr Trump, both foreign and domestic. Because his business is private, the full extent of his holdings - and the potential for conflicts - is not known.

Many of these conflicts were reported before Mr Trump won the election, but have become more pressing as his transition team begins to make decisions about his presidency.

American conflicts of interest

40 Wall Street

Image copyright - GETTY IMAGES

The Trump Organization owns the right to lease the space in this office building in Manhattan - and makes money from the rent paid to the building.

According to Bloomberg News, there are five ongoing federal investigations into current or former tenants of 40 Wall Street, mostly for securities fraud.

Those investigations are headed up by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and Mr Trump will appoint a new SEC chair once he takes office.

Dakota Access Pipeline
Image copyright - GETTY IMAGES

Sioux tribes and allies have been protesting for months to prevent the Dakota Access pipeline from being built under water supplies near the Standing Rock reservation.

Trump had a partial investment - somewhere between $500,000 and $1m - in the parent company of the firm building Dakota Access pipeline, Energy Transfers Partners.

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks says Mr Trump has sold his stock in Energy Transfer Partners. But another one of Trump's stock holdings, Phillips 66, owns a 25% share in the project.

It's unclear if the president-elect has also sold his stock in Phillips 66, as his last financial disclosure was in May.

The US Army Corps of Engineers and the interior department have delayed a decision on the future of the pipeline until they can consult further with other local communities.

Mr Trump's political appointee to head the interior department could ultimately be responsible for the decision.

Deutsche Bank

One of Trump's major lenders on his real estate projects is Deutsche Bank.

The bank is currently in negotiations with the US justice department to settle a case involving misleading buyers when it sold mortgage bonds backed by risky loans.

If Deutsche Bank does not settle by inauguration day, Mr Trump's administration would be in charge of the negotiations.


The president-elect will have another job title beyond "commander-in-chief": executive producer. He will continue to have a "big stake" in The Celebrity Apprentice, which airs on NBC, linking Mr Trump's business interests with the network.

NBC and its parent company, Comcast, is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Mr Trump will need to appoint two commissioners to the agency.

General Service Administration
Image copyright - GETTY IMAGES - Image caption Donald Trump (C) and his family prepare to cut the ribbon at the new Trump International Hotel in October 2016

The Trump Organization leases the Old Post Office Building from US government's General Services Administration (GSA) for the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC.Trump as president is both "landlord and tenant" of this building, says Steven Schooner, who along with Daniel Gordon, has called on Trump to end the lease.

The 60-year lease will likely involve renegotiations - and the person responsible for setting the rent prices would ultimately report to the head of the GSA, a Trump appointee.In addition, the lease bars any federal employee, including elected officials, from benefitting from contracts with the government.

Meanwhile. the hotel has already been pitched to foreign diplomatsas a place to stay while in Washington, raising concerns that foreign governments could see booking expensive rooms at the Trump International as a way to gain favour with the Trump administration.

National Labor Relations Board

On 3 November, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that Trump International Hotel Las Vegas - which Trump co-owns - broke the law by refusing to negotiate with a hotel workers' union.

The hotel appealed the case to a higher court. But eight other labour disputes involving the Las Vegas hotel are currently before the board.

Trump will appoint two empty seats on the five-person board after he becomes president, and the NLRB is facing an unprecedented situation on how to rule on disputes that will affect the president's business.

Secret Service
Image copyright - REUTERS

During the campaign, Trump's airplane company, TAG Air, billed the Secret Service for flying on Trump's Boeing 757 while protecting the candidate. It is standard for Secret Service to pay their own way on private aircraft, and during the campaign, this was tracked by the Federal Election Commission through campaign finance reports.

While Mr Trump will fly on Air Force One and other US aircraft as president, if Trump or Pence family members are assigned protective detail and decide to fly on Trump planes, the Secret Service would need to reimburse TAG Air - and ultimately Mr Trump - for the flights.

In addition, Secret Service will reportedly pay the Trump Organization for the space they use in Trump Tower while protecting Melania and Barron Trump as they stay in New York for part of this year.

Such amounts are part of Secret Service's normal budget and are unlikely to be disclosed.


Jason Miller, the transition team's spokesman, has said the president-elect sold all his stocks in June, a month after the required financial disclosure, but the campaign has furnished no proof.

Since his election, Mr Trump has singled out specific companies for criticism on Twitter, causing price swings on the stock market. If Mr Trump still owns these stocks, he could make money off of selling and buying before and after such tweets.
Foreign holdings

According to Trump's financial disclosure, he has investments in or owns companies in at least 20 countries. Unlike his domestic business, Mr Trump could run afoul of a clause in the US constitution by continuing to profit from these deals.

The emoluments clause specifically prevents anyone who holds a US "office of trust or profit" from accepting gifts, payments or any benefit from a foreign nation.

Even routine business benefits like tax breaks would likely violate the emoluments clause once Mr Trump becomes president.

One former White House ethics lawyer has argued Mr Trump would be violation of the constitution "on day one", if he keeps his business.

In addition to emoluments, Mr Trump's foreign policy decisions could be called into question in any country in which the Trump Organization does business, especially when his policies would benefit the firm's holdings overseas.Here are some of Mr Trump's larger business deals that intersect with US foreign policy.

BBC Monitoring contributed to this report


An Argentine broadcaster reported that Mr Trump allegedly asked President Mauricio Macri for his support to build an office tower in Buenos Aires while on call during Mr Trump's transition period.

Mr Macri's office and the Trump campaign have denied the report.

However, several days later, the Buenos Aires firm building the tower announced construction of the project was going ahead after years of delays.

A waterfront property in Rio de Janeiro, branded with the Trump name through a licensing deal, is the subject of a federal inquiry after two small Brazilian pension funds invested heavily in the unfinished project, with allegations of bribery.

Update: The Trump Organization has reportedly cancelled their licensing deal with the developers in Rio. Trump lawyer Alan Garten told the AP in December this and a few other cancellations were "normal housekeeping" and not part of a strategy to reduce potential conflicts of interests.


The Trump Organization has licensing deals with two hotel towers in Canada - one in Toronto and one in Vancouver.

The Vancouver building will open in early January, but the Toronto tower is up for auction after the developer went bankrupt and was put into receivership by a Canadian judge in November.


The Bank of China is one of China's largest banks and also majority state-owned. It holds the title on a $950m loan for a New York Building in which Trump is a part owner. Mr Trump has previously labelled China a currency manipulator.

Another largely government-owned Chinese bank - the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China - has space in Trump Tower, paying rent to the Trump Organization.

The Trump Organization has also previously attempted to open a series of hotels in the country, and Trump Hotels chief executive Eric Danziger told a Hong Kong media outlet in October they wanted to open 20 to 30 hotels in the country in 2017.

Meanwhile, Trump's son-in-law and now senior adviser, Jared Kushner, is negotiating a deal with China's Anbang Insurance Group to redevelop 666 Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Mr Kushner has been given a senior role inside the White House, and his lawyer told the New York Times he "would recuse from particular matters that would have a direct and predictable effect on his remaining financial interests" without giving specifics.


Trump has a licensing deal for buildings in Mumbai and Pune.

One of his deals is with the Lodha Group, whose founder, Mangal Lodha, is also a vice-president in the ruling government party, BJP.

Shortly after Mr Trump won the presidency, some of his Indian business partners flew to the US to congratulate Mr Trump, who took time out of transition meetings to discuss "US-India relations".


Two building projects with Trump licensing and management deals have not begun construction in earnest but the Trump Organization continues to be part of the venture.

Mr Trump's partner on the resort projects is Hary Tanoesoedibjo, who ran for vice-president and is well-connected politically in Indonesia. Mr Hary is forming a political party in anticipation of the 2019 elections, the New York Times reports.

In addition, one of Trump's advisers, Carl Icahn, is a major shareholder of Freeport, which is looking to extend a mining contract with the Indonesia government.


Ivanka Trump sat in with a meeting with her father and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Ms Trump is currently finalising a licensing deal with Japanese clothing company Sanei International.

The firm's largest shareholder is the Japanese government through the Development Bank of Japan. Ms Trump's company says the deal has been in the works for a while, and the terms were agreed before the election.

Philippines' newest trade envoy to the United States is the same man who is building Trump Tower Manila. Like many of Trump's branding projects, Mr Trump does not own the building himself, but licenses his name to the building in return for regular payments.

Trump family members have previously promoted the project, including a promotional video.

The trade envoy/business partner reportedly flew to US to hold a private meeting with Mr Trump after the election.

Saudi Arabia

During the course of the campaign, Trump created eight business ventures tied to a potential real estate deal in Saudi Arabia.

Mr Trump told Fox News earlier this year, he "would want to protect Saudi Arabia. But Saudi Arabia is going to have to help us economically".

Update: A Trump Organization lawyer has told the AP the eight firms have been dissolved or shut and that there is "no deal" in Saudi Arabia. However, the firm could easily re-establish business ties there.


In September, a woman claiming to be an envoy for the Trump Organization discussed potential real estate developments in Taiwan with the mayor of Taoyuan.

The Trump Organization has denied any plans for expansion there and said there were no "authorised visits" to discuss business in the country. The Taoyan mayor's office said the woman had "authorisation documents" but did not specify what kind, the New York Times reported.

A month after his election, Trump called the president of Taiwan directly, breaking decades of existing US foreign policy. It still unclear if the woman is connected with the Trump Organization

Image copyright - GETTY IMAGES

In 2008, Trump entered a licensing partnership with Turkish conglomerate Dogan Holdings, who were planning to build two residential and business towers in Istanbul's business district.

Relations between Dogan Holdings and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan have turned sour since the towers opened in 2012.

The Dogan family, also own a paper critical of Mr Erdogan.

An earlier story from Newsweek argues the poisoned relationship between Mr Erdogan and the Dogans means Mr Trump would have a direct conflict between his business interests and his relationship with a US ally.

Turkey's importance in the fight against IS and the Syrian civil war makes the stakes much higher.

UK golf courses
Image copyright - GETTY IMAGES - Image caption Trump visits the golf course he owns in Aberdeen, Scotland

Mr Trump owns two golf courses in Scotland and has recently asked Nigel Farage to oppose wind farms, not because he believed they were bad for the UK or contradicted US energy goals, but because a wind project would potentially lower the value of one of his golf courses.

"He did not say he hated wind farms as a concept; he just did not like them spoiling the views," Andy Wigmore, the Leave.EU communications director at the meeting told the New York Times and the Express.

The golf courses could also be affected as part of Brexit negotiations or a second Scottish independence referendum.