Question Steve McQueen Politics & International Relations

Donald Trump's Scottish Business Empire

Holyrood leaders who backed Hilary Clinton are left gobsmacked with Donald Trump’s shocking US election victory. But what does this mean for the tycoon’s business empire in Scotland?

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Answer Expert #13630

Donald Trump has strong family connections with Scotland through his mother’s Scottish origins and this has been one of the main motivations behind his investments in this country. Currently Trump has three major ventures in Scotland: Trump Turnberry, Trump International Gold Links in Aberdeenshire, and DT Connect Europe which operates helicopters (McLaughlin, 2016). This portfolio is, however, a tiny part of almost 500 business organisations across the world that Donald Trump is involved with, either as owner, investor or board member. These factors suggest that the new president is not likely to see his Scottish business ventures as pressing priorities for immediate changes. He has much more urgent matters to worry about.

There is a possibility that some business activities will pass into the hands of other members of the Trump entourage, but since he is hardly a hands-on manager of these businesses at the moment, this, too would not make much difference. His son Eric is already heavily involved in the Turnberry venture as its director. Press reports have commented on disputes between Trump and local authorities and some significant financial losses in the Scottish businesses (McNeill, 2015). These same companies in Scotland might now see an increase in turnover, and therefore profitability, due to President-Elect Trump’s enhanced status, and the likelihood of more positive reports in the global media. This would create more jobs and possibly improve Trump’s reputation in Scotland. All of this is good for business, and so, barring any unforeseen legal or public relations disasters that would threaten his presidency, the outlook for his ventures in Scotland could be very positive indeed.


McGlaughlin, M. (2016) What would happen to Donald Trump’s Scottish businesses if he wins? The Scotsman (8 November). Available at: [Accessed 10 November 2016].

McNeill, C. (2015) Trump’s £2 million losses at Scottish golf courses. The Herald (6 October). Available at: [Accessed 10 November 2016].