WASHINGTON, March 8 China has granted
preliminary approval for 38 new Trump trademarks, which could
let President Donald Trump and his family develop branded
businesses there, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday,
citing public documents.
Trump's lawyers in China applied for the marks in April
2016, and the approvals were published by China's Trademark
Office on Feb. 27 and Monday, the AP reported.
Representatives for the Trump Organization did not
immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump has previously said he has handed over his business
interests to a trust overseen by one of his sons and a Trump
Organization executive. He can, however, revoke the trust at
will and, as its sole beneficiary, benefits from it financially.
Democratic Senator Ben Cardin, the ranking member on the
U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called for the
Departments of State, Commerce and Justice to brief Congress on
the approvals and on "the potential constitutional dangers that
The trademarks, all but three in Trump's name, will be
registered after 90 days, barring objections, the AP said.
China had already registered one trademark on Feb. 14, for
Trump-branded construction services, following a 10-year legal
battle that went Trump's way after he declared his candidacy for
the White House, it said.
"This is an astonishing development ... It's clear to me
that officials in Beijing have come to appreciate the potential
return on investments for China in having a positive, personal
business relationship with the President of the United States,
who has not taken appropriate and transparent steps to
completely sever his relationship from the corporation that
bears his name," Cardin said in a statement.
Cardin has introduced a resolution demanding Trump cut his
ties with the Trump Organization or risk violating the
Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which bars public
servants from accepting anything of value from foreign
governments unless approved by Congress.
AP quoted Dan Plane, a director at Simone IP Services, a
Hong Kong intellectual property consultancy, as saying he had
never seen so many applications approved by China so quickly.
The trademarks cover such businesses as branded spas,
massage parlors, golf clubs, hotels, insurance, finance and real
estate companies, retail shops, restaurants, bars and bodyguard
and escort services, AP reported. Three are for Scion, a hotel
brand Trump's sons want to expand in the United States, it said.
(Writing by Eric Walsh; Editing by James Dalgleish)