Still, the presidency took a toll on the privately owned family business, which has not closed a new hotel deal since Mr. Trump entered the White House. The company shelved a proposed chain of budget-friendly hotels last year, and Mr. Trump’s financial disclosure statements showed that his top cash-generating properties had largely gone sideways. Without offering evidence, Mr. Trump claimed last year that being president was “probably costing me from $3 to $5 billion.”
The ban on new foreign deals probably dealt the biggest blow. Before the presidency, the company was eyeing a major expansion in China; it would even maintain a Chinese bank account and keep an inactive office in Shanghai during the presidency. It had also done exploratory work on new business partnerships in Colombia, Brazil and Turkey.
No longer constrained by its self-imposed ethics plan, the Trump Organization is now expected to seek hotel deals and other business, according to several people close to the company. Even so, there will be numerous obstacles to a rebound, including the coronavirus pandemic, law enforcement investigations into the company and a deeply divided view of Mr. Trump among the American public. Additionally, if Mr. Trump made another run for the White House in 2024, he might need to avoid new foreign entanglements that could provide ammunition for political rivals.