President Donald Trump speaks as he signs an executive order establishing the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Wednesday Dec. 12, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
The Latest on the Opportunity Zone program (all times local):
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President Donald Trump is signing an executive order that will engage 13 federal agencies to aid the Opportunity Zones program targeting development in distressed American communities. The program is part of the 2017 tax reform law, offering tax benefits for developers and investors to build in long-neglected areas.
The order establishes the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council, which will work to identify federal resources and regulations allowing agencies to coordinate with state and local officials and the zones' stakeholders.
Trump hailed the order as a way for all U.S. communities to "share in prosperity."
Trump's daughter and close adviser Ivanka Trump attended the event, but neither commented on an Associated Press investigation that examined her promotion of the program despite investments held by her husband, Jared Kushner, that could benefit from the plan's tax breaks.
Government watchdogs say Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner created an ethical minefield when they became close advisers to President Donald Trump without divesting from their real estate investments.
The Opportunity Zone program promoted by the president's daughter and son-in-law — both senior White House advisers — could also benefit them financially, an Associated Press investigation found.
Kushner holds a big stake in a real estate investment firm, Cadre, that recently announced it is launching a series of Opportunity Zone funds that seek to build major projects under the program from Miami to Los Angeles.
An ethics counsel for the couple says Ivanka Trump "adheres to the ethics advice she has received from counsel."