By Itunuoluwa Adebo China has granted preliminary approval for at least 38 Trump trademarks for businesses ranging from hotels and spas to animal training and weather forecasting, reopening a debate about the potential for conflicts of interest under his presidency.
There was no evidence that President Trump received special favors from the Beijing government in granting the trademarks, experts said, and no indication that Trump was about to start business ventures in China in any of these sectors. There were at least seven trademark applications that were rejected.
Trump’s lawyers in China applied for the trademarks in April 2016, at a time when, as a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, he was complaining about the country’s trade practices.
The trademarks were given preliminary approval on Feb. 27 and March 6, among more than 2,000 other trademark applications, according to the website of China’s Trademark Office.
If no one objects, they will be formally registered in 90 days. .”
Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (Md.), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called it an “astonishing development.” After Trump sought valuable trademarks in China for more than a decade without success before his election, “the floodgates now appear to be open,” he said in a statement.
Cardin suggested that Beijing officials “have come to appreciate the potential return on investments for China in having a positive, personal business relationship” with Trump as president. He called on the administration to “brief Congress, immediately, on these matters and on the potential constitutional dangers that they present.”
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