While US president Donald Trump is dealing with the “bomb cyclone” that is basically freezing the entire country (and the political bomb that is the upcoming release of “Fire and Fury,” the book by The Guardian journalist Michael Wolff which is already sending shockwaves through the American political landscape), his son Eric flew to Uruguay to follow the development of the Trump Tower that is being built in the coastal city of Punta del Este.
The Argentine media managed to interview Trump during his day-long visit, and got him to analyze his father’s first year in office, give his opinion of Argentina and talk about the possibility of resurfacing the idea to build a Trump tower in Argentina, which was halted after the US president took office.
When Infobae asked him what grade he would give to his father’s first year in office, Trump’s son didn’t hesitate to go for the perfect 100: “While we were here, my phone rang and I was told the Dow Jones topped 25,000 points for the first time. It’s the highest level in history! We have the lowest unemployment rates, the highest levels of consumer trust. We continue building and having the most powerful army, which is not only good for us, but for the rest of the world as well,” he said.
Although the interviews he gave mostly revolved around the building, which required a US $ 150 million investment and has already sold 75 percent of its units, the third child of Donald Trump also briefly talked about the bilateral relations between the US and Argentina. Clarifying he was not speaking on behalf of the US government, he said “Argentina is an ally of the United States” and he believes “both countries have a great future.”
“My father also loves that country. He has known Macri for many years, they were friends in New York. My father always liked Argentina very much and I think he will be an excellent ally. I think the bilateral relations should be more solid than usual,” he added.
In November 2016, hours after Trump won the presidential election, news surfaced that the company he led intended to retake a project to build a a 35-story tower in Buenos Aires, just blocks away from the Obelisco. The real estate project that has been stuck in limbo for several years now due to “a series of complications tied to financing, importation of building materials and various permitting requirements.“
During the following days, the project was mired by controversy, as journalist Jorge Lanata made a surprising revelation on live television after saying that when then-President-elect Trump called called President Mauricio Macri to discuss bilateral relations, he also also asked him for help with the development of the building. The story even made it to the US media, but the two heads of state denied the allegations and the accusation faded away.
However, in line with Trump’s decision to deactivate all works that were not yet underway outside the United States, the project was halted. Since the Punta del Este one was already being built, that project continued.
When Clarín consulted him about this, Eric said: “my father won the election and, to avoid conflicts, we decided to no start any international deal for a while. We were really close. We’ll wait. But I love Buenos Aires and we want to do something big there.”
He went on to describe three ideas he was for potential projects in Buenos Aires: “we want to do something really iconic. Because Buenos Aires is an iconic city, with tremendous architecture. We will jump into that project at the right time. Honestly, I would like to build luxury residencies, a great hotel and have a presence in golf, because you are becoming a sort of Mecca for world players.” We will have to wait at least three – or seven? – years to see if they follow through.