Trump’s overseas business ties have been heavily scrutinized by ethics lawyers and Democratic lawmakers, who are concerned about conflicts of interest for the president. Trump declined to sell any of his business interests before taking office.
His attempts to secure trademarks in China attracted attention after the Chinese government granted a construction-related trademark in November. Trump had sought the trademark for years, but it wasn’t granted until after he was elected. The Chinese government has granted preliminary approval for 35 Trump-related trademarks in businesses ranging from mining and construction to restaurants, hotels and golf courses.
Nine of the applications were approved on Feb. 27, and 26 were approved on Monday, according to Chinese trademark documents. Donald Trump applied for 39 trademarks in China in April 2016, during the presidential campaign. Four were rejected last month, though it is unclear what was in those applications or why they were not approved. Lawyers for the Trump Organization, President Trump’s company, have told CNN that the business is simply trying to protect the Trump trademark from anyone who might improperly squat on it.
Trump was granted preliminary approval, meaning that objections to the trademarks can be raised for three months from the date that the authorities post their initial decisions online. If there are no objections, then the trademarks become officially registered in China. The trademark approvals were first reported Wednesday by The Associated Press.