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[answered] Business interests create dilemma for Trump administration


Ethic Case :

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http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/2016/11/15/ethics-watchdogs-call-donald-trump-sever-business-ties/93821292/



Business interests create dilemma for Trump administration

 

Retrieved November 16th 2016:

 

https://www.ft.com/content/600073ea-ab8a-11e6-9cb3-bb8207902122 On November 3, the US agency charged with safeguarding workers? rights

 

ruled that the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas had violated federal law

 

by refusing to hold contract talks with a union representing housekeepers and

 

other staff.

 

Five days later, the lodging?s co-owner ? Donald Trump ? was elected

 

president of the US, putting him in position to appoint a Republican majority

 

at the regulator ? the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ? that could

 

overturn the decision.

 

The possibility points to one of the central ethical dilemmas facing a Trump

 

administration. There has never been a president-elect with more potential

 

conflicts between his financial interests and his official duties. But with his

 

inauguration set for January 20, Mr Trump has yet to present a formal

 

proposal to insulate himself from criticism that he is putting aside the general

 

welfare in favour of his own.

 

During the campaign, Mr Trump suggested he might transfer his holdings into

 

a ?blind trust? ? in the manner of many of his predecessors ? managed by

 

his oldest children, Donald Jr, Ivanka and Eric. But critics say the trust would

 

be neither blind ? because its assets are so well known ? nor independent.

 

They note the three Trump scions already have been named as members of

 

their father?s transition team.

 

?Just turning management over to the kids doesn?t solve the problem ? he

 

would still retain ownership,? said Richard Painter, a former White House

 

ethics lawyer in the administration of George W Bush. ?He hasn?t given us

 

any plan going forward that will remove those conflicts of interest.?

 

Norman Eisen, a former legal ethics adviser for President Barack Obama,

 

said ?the best thing? for Mr Trump would be to liquidate his business holdings

 

and invest the proceeds in a real blind trust run by an independent trustee.

 

But he adds that Mr Trump has no legal obligation to do so, nor any seeming

 

inclination, either.

 

?We have never confronted a situation like this one before and it poses some

 

very serious challenges and risks,? Mr Eisen says. ?As the shock of the result

 

wears off, the president-elect and his team ? and all of us ? need to

 

address those risks.?

 

Mr Painter said he sees two big potential conflicts for Mr Trump. The first

 

involves his hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and the perception that his

 

borrowings could influence regulation in his administration. Complicating

 

matters further is the fact that one of Mr Trump?s biggest current lenders is

 

Deutsche Bank, which is now in talks with the US justice department involving its handling of mortgage-backed securities.

 

Another pitfall involves a section of the US Constitution known as the

 

?emoluments clause?. It essentially forbids a president from receiving

 

anything of value from ?any King, Prince or foreign state? without

 

congressional approval ? no small issue for a business executive with

 

holdings from Ireland and Scotland to Panama and the Philippines that could

 

benefit materially from policies in those places.

 

Other potential difficulties can be found closer to home. The Trump

 

Organization, for example, now operates a hotel in the government-owned

 

Old Post Office Building in Washington. As president, Mr Trump would

 

appoint the head of the federal General Services Administration, which

 

manages the property in the nation?s capital.

 

Mr Trump?s reputation as a man of the people could be put at risk by his

 

oversight of the NLRB. Because of squabbles in recent years between Mr

 

Obama and the Republican-controlled Senate, only three of the five seats on

 

the board have been filled, two by Democrats and one by a Republican.

 

Catherine Fisk, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine, said she

 

expects Mr Trump will be able to quickly win Senate approval for two new

 

members of the NLRB, giving Republicans control of the agency.

 

Although the NLRB is unlikely to revisit findings of fact, she said ?clever

 

lawyers? might be able to come up with a potential challenge to the NLRB?s

 

ruling requiring the Trump International Hotel to negotiate with the Culinary

 

Workers Union in Las Vegas. In the meantime, the Trump Organization has

 

appealed the ruling to the US Court of Appeals in Washington.

 

?Everyone expects that many of the decisions of the last eight years will be

 

reversed,? Ms Fisk said. ?It certainly raises the risk that the president is going

 

to govern not in the interest of the electorate, but in his own interest.?

 

Questions arising (discuss in Forum):

 

1- What ?ethical dilemmas? is President-Elect Trump facing?

 

2- Who else might be involved in these ?dilemmas? (ie: who are the

 

other key stakeholders?)? 3- What "Responsibilities" and "Rights" are involved?

 

4- What ?solutions? might you propose? Whose responsibility would it

 

be to implement these?

 

5- Whose responsibility would it be to implement these?

 


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