President Trump Owns Jordan Casino Trademark, Spurring Speculation Over the His Former Middle East Business Plans
Posted on: March 28, 2017, 12:00h.
Last updated on: March 28, 2017, 11:17h.
President Trump holds a casino trademark in Jordan that protects the use of his name for any gambling-related facility in the Middle East country.
Though gambling is strictly barred in the Arab nation, the 45th commander-in-chief apparently once felt the need to protect his brand there.
In addition to a casino protection, Trump’s corporation holds trademarks in Jordan for the use of his name in developing any commercial, residential, or hotel properties. Filing under the business entity of “DTTM Operations LLC,” Trump was granted the trademarks from the country’s Industry, Trade and Supply Ministry in June of 2009.
In an email to the Associated Press, which first broke the story, Jordan spokesman Mohammad Momani explained, “That does not give any right to the company to practice any activities unless it is formally registered and licensed to practice. Needless to say, gambling is illegal in Jordan, so if a company applies for this, it will be disapproved.”
It’s unclear whether President Trump thought Jordan might one day legalize gambling, or if the former real estate and casino mogul was simply safeguarding his identity. Regardless, the revelation of the trademarks further highlights the complexity of the president’s worldwide organization, and possible conflicts of interest moving forward now that he occupies the White House.
While Trump disassociated himself from his companies after winning the election, he only passed on their governance to his adult sons. He still retains ownership of The Trump Organization.
Donald Jr. and Eric Trump have said they’re suspending further international deals in hopes of avoiding conflicts of interest. Critics of the president opine that’s nearly impossible.
“We don’t want foreign governments in a position to pay off our politicians,” ethics lawyer Richard Painter told the AP. Painter is part of a current lawsuit against the Trump administration that claims the president’s company continues to accept payments from international governments.
Jordan plays a key role in trying to keep peace between Israel and Palestine. The country often serves as a mediator between the two hostile nations, and is an important asset to the US’ involvement in the Middle East as a whole.
In early February, Trump welcomed King Abdullah II to the White House. During their meeting, the president affirmed America’s commitment to “Jordan’s stability, security, and prosperity.”
Trump has caused plenty of controversy for his travel ban on six countries, which some have called a Muslim ban. Trump’s executive order temporarily prevents residents in Libya, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia from entering the US.
But over 93 percent of Jordan residents are followers of Islam. And Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Egypt, the top five countries with the most Muslims, are also not on the travel ban list.
President Trump will welcome the king back in the near future, according to a White House press release, to discuss ongoing strategies for peace in the Middle East. They aren’t expected to talk about gambling, though Painter believes it will remain an issue.
“We’re going to have a lot of different things on the table and I guess this casino is going to be part of what’s on the table,” Painter opined.
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