China gave preliminary approval to 38 Trump trademarks, including for "escort" services

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

The Chinese government gave preliminary approval to 38 Trump trademarks on everything from Trump-branded golf clubs to massage services and even a group of trademarks for "social escort and concierge services," the Associated Press reported Wednesday. 

It's unclear whether President Donald Trump and his children — who now run his business interests — will actually eventually develop businesses in China for the granted trademarks. The AP reported that the organization could be seeking to secure the trademarks so no one else can use Trump's name improperly. 

The Trump Organization's chief legal officer, Alan Garten, told the AP that the Trump Organization doesn't plan to start a Chinese escort service.

The Washington Post reported in May that an escort service not connected to Trump used his name, and the Trump Organization issued a cease and desist order to the website, which ultimately changed its name.

However, the fact that China is granting new Trump trademarks does raise conflict of interest questions about whether the Chinese government approved these requests in exchange for favorable treatment from Trump.

The U.S. Constitution prohibits elected officials from accepting compensation from foreign governments without congressional approval — also known as the emoluments clause.

Trump, in an effort to avoid violating the emoluments clause, has said his company won't start any new foreign deals during his time in the White House.

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Emily C. Singer

Emily C. Singer, née Cahn, is a senior writer for Mic covering politics. She is based in New York and can be reached at esinger@mic.com

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