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On Trump Trademarks, China Says It Treats Applicants Equally

FILE - President Donald Trump gestures as he walks down the stairs of Air Force One upon his arrival at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla., March 3, 2017. China has granted preliminary approval for 38 new Trump trademarks, fueling c

A top Chinese regulator says China assesses all applications for trademarks equally, including those submitted by now-President Donald Trump.

The chief of China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce, Zhang Mao, said Friday the process by which Trump was granted preliminary approval for 38 trademarks "strictly conforms'' to regulations.

Critics fear foreign governments might gain leverage from Trump's global portfolio of brands. Democrats in Congress were critical of Trump after The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the potentially valuable trademarks had been granted, raising questions of conflict of interest.

Zhang, whose administration oversees the country's trademark office, says all domestic and foreign trademark applications are evaluated uniformly and the system is transparent.

The recent provisional approval of Trump's trademarks came at a pace that some experts view as unusually quick.