Friday, March 10, 2017

AP: China grants preliminary approval to 38 new Trump trademarks

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders

The American people deserve to have confidence that their president is looking out for their best interests, not his own personal and family business interests. Before taking office, President Trump promised that his business organization would pursue "no new foreign deals" during his presidency. He broke that promise almost immediately. Now, multiple news outlets area reporting that China's Trademark Office had given preliminary approval to 38 new trademarks for the Trump organization, covering “everything from hotels and golf clubs to bodyguard and concierge services.”

For years, Trump had tried unsuccessfully to secure these trademarks, which usually take a very long time in China. Now, after he became president of the United States, a whole slew of them were quickly approved. Coincidence? I doubt it. Does anyone really think this won’t affect President Trump’s policy toward China?

The American founders saw the danger that this sort of foreign influence posed to our democracy, which is why they created the Emoluments Clause, contained in Article I of our Constitution. It states that no U.S. official “shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” More simply, our founders were concerned about corruption and we should be too. Receiving preferential treatment for his business interests from the Chinese government clearly violates this provision. It should make all Americans worried about the influence foreign governments have over President Trump.

Computer screens showing some of the Trump trademarks
 approved by China's Trademark office and seen