Dem: Trump's China trademark looks like a quid pro quo

Dem: Trump's China trademark looks like a quid pro quo
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Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinOvernight Cybersecurity: Senate Judiciary reportedly drops Manafort subpoena | Kushner meets with House Intel | House passes Russia sanctions deal | What to watch at 'hacker summer camp' Manafort agrees to speak with investigators after subpoena Manafort heads for Senate showdown after subpoena MORE (D-Calif.) on Friday expressed concern about China's decision to give President Trump a new business trademark after Trump announced his support for a pro-China policy.

“China’s decision to award President Trump with a new trademark allowing him to profit from the use of his name is a clear conflict of interest and deeply troubling,” Feinstein said in a statement.

“If this isn’t a violation of the Emoluments Clause, I don’t know what is.”

Feinstein noted that China's move came days after Trump voiced support for the "One China" policy, which the U.S. has adhered to for decades but Trump questioned late last year.

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“The fact that this decision comes just days after a conversation between President Trump and President Xi Jinping where President Trump reaffirmed the U.S. policy of ‘One China’ is even more disturbing as it gives the obvious impression of a quid pro quo," Feinstein said.

“And this is just the start. Media reports state that the president has dozens of additional trademark applications pending just in China. These types of conflicts are exactly what we feared would happen: the president profiting off of his public service," she added.
 
The “One China” policy dictates that Washington recognizes Beijing as the only official government of China and will not establish formal relations with its rival, Taiwan. 
 
Trump angered the Chinese government by accepting a call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen after his election, breaking with long-standing protocol. An American president or president-elect had not spoken with Taiwan’s leader since 1979. 
 
Just more than a month before he took office, Trump suggested he might use the policy as a bargaining chip to pressure China to change its behavior.
 
"I don't know why we have to be bound by a ‘One China' policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade," Trump said in a December interview with “Fox News Sunday.”
 
Abandoning the policy would have been seen as a major affront to Beijing, which sees the policy as the cornerstone of its relationship with the U.S. 

The Associated Press on Wednesday reported that Trump currently has 49 trademark applications that are pending and 77 that are already registered in his name. According to the AP, most of the registered trademarks will need to be renewed during his term.

“I am deeply concerned that China and other countries will make certain decisions that will benefit the president with the hope of influencing his foreign policy decisions," Feinstein said.
 
"This is yet another reason that President Trump should fully divest his interests. There’s no other way to ensure full transparency and avoid conflicts of interest,” she added.