Donald Trump's business empire owes $211 billion to state-controlled Bank of China
Trump's ownership of the 43-story Manhattan tower has been known publicly for years and came up during his 2016 campaign. But it is getting a second look now that China is looking to be a flashpoint in his race against former Vice President Joe Biden.
The loan comes from the Trump Organization's 30 percent stake in the 1290 Avenue of the Americas building, bounded by 52nd Street and steps from Radio City Music Hall.
Trump's partner, Vornado Realty Trust, refinanced the 43-story building in 2012, Politico reported. Vornado has 70 percent ownership.
Of the amount of debt on the asset, $211 million is owed to the state-owned Bank of China.
The building is valued at more than $1 billion.
Trump stepped back from running his business after the 2016 election, placing it in the control of his adult sons Don Jr. and Eric, as well as an executive. However, that hasn't kept an array of potential conflicts from creeping up.
The Trump Organization is currently seeking to renegotiate lease payments for a Washington D.C. hotel it leases from the government's General Services Administration, which Trump oversees. Trump businesses are barred from getting a bailout in the coronavirus stimulus package, something Trump noted at a recent press briefing.
The note on the building matures in 2022, according to a Vornado financial disclosure, which could provide China leverage over Trump.
The Trump camp is planning to use China as a club against presumed nominee Joe Biden. Hunter Biden serves on the board of a private equity fund that got business in China, and he traveled with his father to Beijing aboard Air Force Two in 2013.
The firm reached a deal – also with the state-owned Bank of China – valued at $1.5 billion. It was announced days after the visit. Trump and his allies have used the deal to accuse Hunter Biden of using special access, although his claims that Hunter Biden 'made millions of dollars' is not borne out by fact checkers.
But in the case of the building, it is Trump personally – not a relative – who has a financial relationship with China.
Trump has his own vulnerabilities on China due to the spreading coronavirus that has killed 50,000 Americans.
Trump tweeted Jan. 24: 'China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus.' He added: 'The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!'
Many U.S. officials now accuse China of holding back vital information that might have slowed the pandemic.
Trump said Saturday China would 'own' Biden if he wins the election.
Trump has held up the deal for the New York tower as proof of his business acumen. '“I own a big chunk of the Bank of America building [in San Francisco] and 1290 Avenue of the Americas that I got from China in a war. Very valuable. I love China,' Trump said during the campaign.
The Trump Organization calls it 'One of the [sic] New York City's Most Distinguished Midtown Office Buildings' on its website. 'The building's reputation and history is treasured by tenants new and old,' it says.