US President Donald Trump knows of a perfect location for next year’s Group of Seven summit in the United States: Trump Doral golf resort in Miami.
”We haven’t found anything that could really come close to competing with it,” Trump said, stressing however that no final decisions have been made.
Trump ticked off all the great advantages of a global summit in the Sunshine State of Florida. “It’s very big” and it’s Miami, “so it’s a great area.” He told German Chancellor Angela Merkel, sitting next to him, that she would be just a three-minute helicopter ride from the airport to the site.
“People are really liking it,” Trump said. “Plus it has buildings that are 50 to 70 units so each delegation can have its own building, so you’d have the seven various delegations that could have their own building.”
Trump has already run afoul of ethics experts and faced multiple lawsuits over his continued involvement with some of his private business, such as the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Locating a global summit on one of his properties would open him up to a slew of new allegations that he’s mixing his private financial gain with his public position as commander in chief.
The Trump Organization has donated profit from foreign governments to the US Treasury, part of a bid to counter criticism that Trump may be violating the US Constitution’s emoluments clauses by accepting payments from foreign governments.
Still, Doral would benefit in other ways from hosting a summit of world leaders. The resort would get free publicity that could help boost future profit.
The president placed his business holdings in a revocable trust that allows him to continue to profit from his company’s activities. His sons Eric and Donald Jr. run the Trump Organization. Democrats and watchdog groups have repeatedly criticized Trump for maintaining his business while in public office.
Doral is definitely built more for play than work, and its website boasts that it’s only eight miles for the Miami airport. It’s 800 acres, boasts four golf courses and 643 rooms, plus more than 100,000 square feet of event space -- including the Donald J. Trump Grand Ballroom.
Doral may have fallen on hard times financially. Trump’s financial disclosure showed the property had $74.8 million in 2018 income, down from about $115.9 million.
A number of high-profile companies and industry groups have held meetings there since Trump took office, including private prison company Geo Group Inc., a major beneficiary of Trump’s immigration policies. Separately, the Community Financial Services Association of America, a payday lenders trade group, held a 2019 event there in March amid efforts to roll back consumer protections in the industry.