China grants preliminary approval to 38 new Trump trademarks


China has granted preliminary approval for 38 new Trump trademarks, fueling conflict of interest concerns and questions about whether President Donald Trump is receiving special treatment from the Chinese government.

The trademarks pave the way for branded spas, massage parlours, golf clubs, hotels and even private bodyguard and escort services across China.

President Trump has previously said that he will not conduct new foreign deals while in office.

In China, it is common to register trademarks defensively, as a way to prevent trademark squatting.

All the marks were applied for in April 2016, while Mr Trump was campaigning.

If no one objects, they will be formally registered after 90 days. All but three are in the president’s own name.

If President Trump receives any special treatment in securing trademark rights, it would violate the US Constitution, which bans public servants from accepting anything of value from foreign governments unless approved by Congress, ethics lawyers from across the political spectrum say.

Concerns about potential conflicts of interest are particularly sharp in China, where the courts and bureaucracy are designed to reflect the will of the ruling Communist Party.

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