aside President’s Conflicts Of Interests/ China?

Keeping up with our republican President Donald Trump and his team’s crazy schemes is almost “Mission Impossible” which is why it is crucial for those who want the president and his administration to be held to account for their actions to focus on three goals, to uncover depth of their ties to Russia; to discover foreign business conflicts of interests; and to figure out a way to force the president’s tax returns to be made public. All the other shenanigans (distractions) like mines on a road which have to be detonated, but not in a way to deter us from attaining the major objectives.

The following is a demonstration of our president’s potential conflict of interest business ties to China…

On 3/8/17, Erika Kinetz of AP penned the following report, “China grants preliminary approval to 38 new Trump trademarks. (Associated Press researcher Fu Ting in Shanghai and reporters Kelvin Chan in Hong Kong, Randall Chase in Delaware and Chad Day in Washington contributed to this report.)

Excerpts:

“China has granted preliminary approval for 38 new Trump trademarks, paving the way for President Donald Trump and his family to potentially develop a host of branded businesses from hotels to insurance to bodyguard and escort services, public documents show.”

“Trump’s lawyers in China applied for the marks in April 2016, as Trump railed against China at campaign rallies, accusing it of currency manipulation and stealing U.S. jobs. Critics maintain that Trump’s swelling portfolio of China trademarks raises serious conflict of interest questions.”

China’s Trademark Office published the provisional approvals on Feb. 27 and Monday.

If no one objects, they will be formally registered after 90 days. All but three are in the president’s own name. China already registered one trademark to the president, for Trump-branded construction services on Feb. 14, the result of a 10-year legal battle that turned in Trump’s favor after he declared his candidacy.

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

Image result for photo of trump's tower in china
Trump Towers made of cheap Chinese steel (Ossen) with loans via Chinese Banks, tied to government

Dan Plane, a director at Simone IP Services, a Hong Kong intellectual property consultancy, said he had never seen so many applications approved so expeditiously.

“For all these marks to sail through so quickly and cleanly, with no similar marks, no identical marks, no issues with specifications — boy, it’s weird,” he said.

Given the impact Trump’s presidency could have on China, Plane said he would be “very, very surprised” if officials from the ruling Communist Party were not monitoring Trump’s intellectual property interests.

“This is just way over your average trademark examiner’s pay grade,” he said.

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President Trump

“The trademarks cover businesses including branded spas, massage parlors, golf clubs, hotels, insurance, finance and real estate companies, retail shops, restaurants, bars, and bodyguard and escort services — though it’s unclear whether any such businesses will actually materialize in China. Trump has pledged to refrain from new foreign deals while in office, and many companies register trademarks in China only to prevent others from using their name inappropriately.”

“Spring Chang, a founding partner at Chang Tsi & Partners, a Beijing law firm that has represented the Trump Organization, declined to comment specifically on Trump’s trademarks. But she did say that she advises clients to take out marks defensively, even in categories or subcategories of goods and services they may not aim to develop.”

“I don’t see any special treatment to the cases of my clients so far,” she added.

She said government relations are an important part of trademark strategy in China and said she has worked with officials from both the U.S. and Canadian embassies to help her clients. The key, she said, is “you should communicate closely with the government to push your case.”Image result for photos of trump in china

“Governmental discretion is exactly what U.S. ethics lawyers fear could turn a trademark into an opportunity to exercise leverage over the U.S. president.”

“Every American should be profoundly concerned by this enormous expansion of President Trump’s entanglements with China,” said Norman Eisen, who served as chief White House ethics lawyer for President Barack Obama. “If the president is receiving these flows of benefits from China, how can he be trusted to staunch the flow of jobs from the United States to that country?”

“Richard Painter, who served as chief ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, said the volume of new approvals raised red flags.”

“A routine trademark, patent or copyright from a foreign government is likely not an unconstitutional emolument, but with so many trademarks being granted over such a short time period, the question arises as to whether there is an accommodation in at least some of them,” he said.”Image result for photos of trump in china

“Eisen and Painter are involved in a lawsuit alleging that Trump’s foreign business ties violate the U.S. Constitution. Trump has dismissed the lawsuit as “totally without merit.”

“China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce, which oversees the Trademark Office, and Trump Organization general counsel Alan Garten did not immediately respond to requests for comment 3/8/17.”

“Three of the new China trademarks are for Scion, a hotel brand Trump’s sons are looking to expand in the U.S. Unlike almost all of Trump’s China trademarks, they are registered in the name of a Delaware company called DTTM Operations LLC, rather than Donald J. Trump himself. The Trump Organization has transferred ownership of dozens of trademarks from the president to DTTM Operations LLC since its incorporation in January 2016.”Image result for photos of trump in china

“In an earlier email to the Associated Press, Garten said, “The decision to assign the portfolio to DTTM is also consistent with the President’s pledge to separate himself fully from the Trump Organization and hand over complete control to his children and senior executives in order to avoid potential conflicts of interest even though none of these steps were required by law.”

“Trump has said he assigned all his business interests to a trust overseen by one of his sons, Donald Trump Jr., and a longtime Trump Organization executive, Allen Weisselberg. However, Trump retains the ability to revoke the trust at any time and as the sole beneficiary stands to benefit financially from it. As of May 2016, Donald Trump owned 100 percent of DTTM Operations LLC, according to his Federal Election Commission disclosure. Its current ownership structure is unclear. Delaware public records do not disclose the management of DTTM Operations LLC, though they do show that Trump’s sons and Weisselberg served as directors of a related company.”

“Democratic senators have protested Trump’s acceptance of a valuable trademark from the Chinese government without congressional approval. Some also questioned Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about potential political influence, including any involvement of the U.S. Embassy, in Trump’s China trademarks in a February letter.”

 

10 comments

  1. Trump’s business organization has it’s tentacles all over the world, it would be difficult to extricate all of his financial dealings. Of course his excuse is “well I handed over the reigns to my kids”, but not everything can be verified, we can’t even see his tax returns for christ sakes!
    Everyone in gov’t has their racket, Hillary has her “Clinton Foundation”, a pay for play bribery and money laundering scam, it seems Trump is no better with his overwhelming conflicts of interest all over the world.

    • Dear 1EarthUnited,

      DT conflicts of interests make the Clinton’s look like “the Amateur Hour.” The US House Ways and Means committee could legally order DT’s tax returns, but the republican chairman is refusing to act.

      Ciao, Gronda

  2. And, a Republican Congressman said his tax returns are not relevant, yesterday on this. I can’t decide if his conflicts of interest will get him before the Russian influence and lying will. Either way, his tax returns and who is beholden to are extremely relevant. This president thing may be all about money.

    • Dear Kim,

      What I am upset about is that the cowardly republicans in the US House Ways and Means committee have not ordered DT’s IRS tax returns, and they have the power to do so.

      Hugs, Gronda

  3. And so it’s business as usual for Trump. He couldn’t look more a crook if he tried. Any other President would not have let anything arise that could test their credibility but he goes looking for things. Please get rid before he’s due to visit m country and inflict himself on Her Majesty.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • Dear David Prosser,

      I would definitely not wish to have him impose himself on your majesty and country.

      By a fluke, we have a psychopath in the White House and it looks like the majority party, republicans do not want to start the steps to remove him from office. They are not doing their duty and what is right for our country. They are placing loyalty to their party, first.

      Ciao, Gronda

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