The Trump Administration has announced it will host the 2020 G7 summit at Trump National Doral resort, located just north of Miami, according to multiple reports.
Back in July, The Washington Post and Axios both reported President Donald Trump would like to bring the leaders of the six other largest world economies together at the property he has owned since 2012, a former long-time host to the PGA Tour. Trump purchased the property from bankruptcy for $150 million.
On Oct. 17, Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney announced Doral would host the summit after beating out finalist locations in Hawaii and two in Utah. The White House said there were some 10-12 properties that were on an initial exploratory list. Each member of the G7 rotates as host of the meeting.
It’s unclear the process by which the Trump Administration made its decision, and Mulvaney said he would not detail the process. The federal government budgets for hosting the summit. It’s also unclear if bringing the G7 to Doral could represent a violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits federal officeholders from receiving any gift, payment or other thing of value from a foreign state or its rulers, officers or representatives. It’s likely the House of Representatives will hold hearings on the decision.
The Trump National Doral resort has seen a substantial decline in revenues since Trump has taken office in 2017, with 2017 revenues marking a 69 percent decline over the 2015 end figure. The Trump Organization’s accounting firm indicated in a note to Miami-Dade County officials that the Trump brand suffers from negative perception of the President. The loss in revenue — $75 million in 2017 compared to a forecast $85 million — forced the Trump Organization to cut expenses elsewhere to keep the resort profitable. The Trump Organization cited hurricanes in 2016 and 2017, as well the Zika virus scare in 2016, as what kept people away, though the data provided to the county belies that claim.
President Trump has no qualms in using his properties to welcome foreign leaders on individual visits, hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping at his private Mar-a-Lago club for visits. Donald Trump has spent a portion of 240 days of his presidency at one of the golf clubs he owns.