This week in Donald Trump's conflicts of interest: Who says foreign policy shouldn't make you richer?

Trump may not be friendly with Mexico, but we learned this week he's working well in there

By Matthew Rozsa
March 18, 2017 2:30PM (UTC)
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(Reuters/Lucas Jackson/Shutterstock/Salon)

President Donald Trump may have spent most of the week trying to keep his head above water with his still-unproven claim that he was wiretapped by his predecessor, Barack Obama, but that doesn't mean he hasn't had a pile-up of conflicts of interest that warrant attention.

Trump may rail against Mexico in his speeches, but his company was granted trademarks in that country


The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) has granted four trademarks to the Trump Organization in recent months — one in October, a month before his election, and three in February, a month after he took office. Lasting through 2026, these new trademarks range from construction and construction materials to hotels/hospitality/tourism and real estate/financial services/insurance. All of the trademarks were previously owned personally by Trump himself, although they expired in 2015. Now they are owned by a company called DTTM Operations LLC, which has its address in Trump Tower.

Trump is hosting a major summit with China at his Mar-a-Lago resort

Despite the past controversies over his use of Mar-a-Lago for foreign policymaking (remember that North Korean crisis, anyone?), Trump plans on hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Florida resort next month. Even if Trump winds up paying for Xi Jinping's stay, much as he did for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the use of Mar-a-Lago for such a high-profile event guarantees that the resort will receive free publicity that can bolster its own business brand. Not to mention that members will likely have time to rub elbows with the leader of China.


Jared Kushner's family just made an oddly profitable deal with a shady Chinese company

In the same week that Trump announced his Mar-a-Lago summit with Xi Jinping — and not long after the Trump Organization received preliminary approval of more than three dozen trademarks — it came out that Kushner Cos., a company owned by the family of Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, has struck quite a lucrative deal with Anbang Insurance Group. Anbang, which has deep ties to the Chinese government, will give more than $400 million to the Kushners' family business as part of a $4 billion deal. In this deal, Anbang will invest in the Kushners’ Manhattan office tower at 666 Fifth Avenue and give the Kushners' company an equity stake in a partnership between their two organization. They will also forgive most of the Kushners' debt.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is going to personally line the Trumps' pockets


As this invitation shows, the NRCC is holding a contest with a prize that should raise eyebrows. "The NRCC will not only fly you to D.C.," their invitation gloats, "they will also book you a night in the TRUMP Hotel."


Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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China Donald Trump Jared Kushner Mar-a-lago Mexico Xi Jinping