Trump’s Brand Continues Its March Across the Globe

In Conflict of Interest On
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WASHINGTON — For most of last year, Donald J. Trump’s application to register trademarks for his brand of home accessories languished in a government office in Lima, Peru. But since Mr. Trump was elected in November, the pace has picked up.

A six-month-old request to register his brand of sheets, duvets, towels and other goods, now selling briskly at a home goods store in Lima, overcame a crucial hurdle in late December. So did a second application to protect Mr. Trump’s brand of flatware that was filed after the election.

Peruvian officials say they are treating Mr. Trump’s trademark applications like anyone else’s and are acting on them now simply because his business representatives have answered outstanding questions. They insist that Peru’s president, who met Mr. Trump in the Oval Office in late February, has no influence over their decisions.

But to a team of constitutional lawyers and ethics lawyers, the pending Peruvian petitions are emblematic of the legal and moral perils in Mr. Trump’s continued ownership of his business empire. In a federal lawsuit that has set up a high-stakes legal battle with the Trump administration, they argue that the Constitution prohibits the president from accepting any economic benefit, including trademark approvals, from foreign governments.

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