China has given preliminary approval of 31 new Trump trademarks related to businesses that range from spas and hotels to weather forecasting and animal training. This has reopened the big debate about possible conflicts of interest while he is president.
Seven other applications for trademarks were rejected, said Chinese officials.
No evidence was present that President Donald Trump had been given any special favors by the government of Beijing when granting approval of the trademarks, said experts. There also was no indication Trump was going to start any new business ventures in the country.
Lawyers for Trump in China applied to have the trademarks approved during April of 2016 during a time when he was a presidential candidate for the Republicans. At the time, he also complained about the trade practices in China.
These trademarks in question were granted preliminary approval as of February 27 and March 6, amongst over 2,000 other applications for trademarks according to the Trademark Office in China.
If there is no objection to the trademarks, they will be registered after 90 days.
That the trademarks received preliminary approval in that period, does appear to be favoritism said one analyst in China. However, in Washington this move promptly turned into political fodder for critics of the President.
However, Senator Benjamin Cardin from Maryland, a top member of the Democrats and the top minority member of the Foreign Relations Committee said the news was an astonishing development.
The senator said that Trump spend over a decade without any success prior to the election trying to have his trademarks approved, then the floodgates appeared to now be open.
The senator added that he believes officials in Beijing appreciate the possible return on their investments for the country in having a strong, positive and personal relationship with the U.S. president.
Under the trademark law of China during 2013 and 2014, the office for trademarks was supposed to complete examination of every application for trademark in no more than nine month.
Although there has been a struggle to meet the target it set, the office, said an analyst has worked hard to have its examination streamlined and cut the overall time to win approval.
Chinese law related to trademarks grants a priority to whoever files their application first.