Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson warned US President Donald Trump about the potential negative impact the US-China trade war could have on the US economy during a phone call last month, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Citing sources familiar with the call, the WSJ said that Adelson made the call a few days after President Trump had fired off a series of tweets on 23 August in which he revealed plans to increase all tariffs on Chinese goods by 5%. The tweets were in response to Beijing’s own retaliatory tariffs on US goods.
Las Vegas Sands owns and operates five casino-resorts in Macau under its local subsidiary Sands China, from which around 63% of its 2018 revenue was derived. The licenses of all six of Macau’s casino operators are also set to expire in 2022, with renewal subject to a re-tender process over which Beijing is expected to hold significant sway.
However, according to the WSJ, Adelson’s phone call to President Trump was a general warning about the broader impacts of a trade war on the US economy and unrelated to LVS’s Macau casino interests. Adelson has traditionally been a strong supporter of the Republican Party, including President Trump, with around US$123 million donated by he and wife Miriam to conservative candidates and causes during the 2018 midterm elections.
The President has since delayed the 5% tariff increase by two weeks until 15 October pending talks between the two nations.