GURGAON, India — When the Trump family jet lands in India this week, the family member taking a tour of the world’s largest democracy — with a Secret Service detail in tow — won’t be the president on a diplomatic mission. It will be his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., on a sales trip.
But Indians might be forgiven for not making much of the distinction.
The visit by the younger Mr. Trump, intended to help sell more than $1 billion in luxury residential units being built by the Trumps and their local partners, has been promoted with newspaper advertisements that read: “Trump has arrived. Have you?”
The younger Mr. Trump’s weeklong itinerary of cocktail parties, dinners and events with real estate brokers, business leaders and prospective buyers comes as President Trump is working to strengthen ties between the two countries.
There are no formal federal rules that prohibit the younger Mr. Trump from pursuing his business interests; he is a private citizen. And even though President Trump is still a beneficial owner of the family business, he is not subject to conflict of interest laws, as the president is exempt. The White House, asked if Donald Trump Jr.’s trip gave even an appearance of a conflict of interest, declined to comment on the matter.
India is the Trump Organization’s biggest international market, with four real estate projects underway. The largest is here in Gurgaon, a fast-growing city outside New Delhi with a litany of Fortune 500 companies and a skyline filled with skyscrapers. The Trump development encompasses two towers with a total of 254 “ultra luxury” units, according to the company, each selling for up to $1.5 million.
The luxury apartment buildings near the Trump development in Gurgaon have names like Palm Springs and Central Park, even as they overlook pothole-ridden highways. The Trumps and their partners are offering buyers the opportunity to become “members of the Trump family,” with the promise of exclusive amenities such as an infinity swimming pool, a billiards room and valet services.