The US President Donald Trump, before running for office had applied for and received a trademark in Jordan. And, he holds a trademark in Jordan for a Donald Trump casino, despite the fact that gambling is illegal in the Kingdom of Jordan. Trump holds four such trademarks before becoming president. It is mandatory for the Trump Organization to reapply for the trademark during Trump’s four-year term to keep the trademarks active. This will certainly raise potential ethical concerns for his organisation in the country. Speaking to the Associate Press, The Trump Organization told “decision to enforce its intellectual property rights is nothing new.”
Though Jordan’s government has acknowledged Trump’s trademarks that should not be mistaken with the fact that gambling has not future in Jordan. Mohammed Momani, Jordan government spokesman wrote in an email, “That does not give any right to the company to practice any activities unless it is formally registered as a company in Jordan and licensed to practice. Needless to say, gambling is illegal in Jordan, so if a company applies for this, it will be disapproved.”
The chief White House ethics lawyer under George W. Bush, Richard Painter also said that the issue of casino trademark has raised new concerns for the Trump Organization. Noteworthy that Painter is part of a lawsuit that alleged Trump to violate the U.S. Constitution in a way that his business would accept payments from foreign governments. Painter was heard saying, “We don’t want foreign governments in a position to pay off our politicians with special treatment.”
Donald Trump had always tried to establish business in the Middle East as it is an open market for his construction projects. He won trademarks in countries like Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. While several US presidents have already sold their financial holdings to avoid conflicts, President Trump understand that is not necessary. Instead, he has Trump has hand over managerial control his two adult sons and advised not to pursue more business abroad. He has also appointed a lawyer to do the screening work to keep his business away from conflicts. However, recent news is that Trump’s sons has recently opened a new Trump golf course in Dubai.
It is yet to be unearthed whether Donald Trump already knew about the controversy surrounding the casino proposal at the time his company went for the trademark a year ago.
Trump Organization’s Chief Legal Officer, Alan Garten has described the company’s decision as “broad trademark protection” that will prohibit others to use Trump’s name. Garten said, “While the trademark registration also included casino-related activities, the company has never pursued a casino.”