China’s Action on Trump Trademark Request Raises Ethics Concerns
China has given preliminary approval to a raft of trademark requests from President Donald Trump’s business empire, renewing concerns of ethics watchdogs that the president’s private dealings conflict with his role as leader of a world superpower, and therefore violate the U.S. Constitution.
Trump attorneys filed the 38 trademark applications last April, while Mr. Trump was still a contender for the Republican presidential nomination. China’s Trademark Office signaled its tentative approval over the past two weeks.
If there is no objection, the trademarks will be officially registered in 90 days. They cover a wide variety of Trump interests, including everything from hotels, restaurants, golf clubs, bars, real estate and finance, to escort and concierge services.
The Trump Organization also received a single trademark approval in February for Trump-branded construction services. That approval came after a 10-year legal battle.
A group of presidential ethics experts say China’s favorable consideration of Trump requests buttresses their argument that foreign governments seeking to curry favor with the president would be inclined to show preferential treatment to the president’s business interests.
Representatives of the Trump Organization, however, say securing trademarks is a natural part of doing business in countries around the globe in keeping with international law.
6 US States Challenge Trump's Revised Travel Ban
Six U.S. states are challenging President Donald Trump's revised executive order banning travel from six Muslim-majority countries.
The state of Hawaii already has filed suit, arguing the new federal order will harm Muslims living in the Pacific island state. Five other states have banded together in a combined challenge to the latest order from Trump, meant to replace an earlier decree that was overturned by U.S. courts.
The West Coast state of Washington, which played a leading role in resisting the original presidential order, asked a federal judge in Seattle to affirm that a court order suspending enforcement of Trump's January 27 edict also applies to the new version released by the White House.
The states of Oregon, Minnesota and New York have joined Washington state's legal action, and Massachusetts announced late Thursday that it, too, will take part when an amended complaint is filed next week.
Bob Ferguson, Washington state's attorney general, said the states have a solid legal argument. The president's new immigration order is "narrower" than the original version, Ferguson said, but "that does not mean that it's cured its constitutional problems."
Trump signed a new executive order Monday barring citizens from six countries -- Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen -- from traveling to the United States for three months, and suspended for four months a U.S. refugee resettlement program. Foreign travelers who received visas to the United States before January 22, or who already are legal permanent residents of the U.S., are exempted from the new order.