Trump's conflicts will be crippling

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is the largest bank in the world. Its majority owner is the Communist government of China. ICBC’s New York address is 725 5th Avenue — also known as Trump Tower.

In two months, that means, the president of the United States will be pocketing rent checks from a state-run megabank owned by the United States’ largest military and economic rival.

This is a plain conflict of interest. Trump’s personal finances may not depend on it, but they will hinged to continued good relations with, and the economic success of, ICBC. You don’t need to posit the most corrupt circumstance — such as the Chinese regime currying favor or extorting policies from Trump through payment or withholding of payment — to imagine circumstances where his personal financial interests will clash with the national interest.

For instance, the U.S. is currently pushing Asian nations to dismantle and shrink their state-owned enterprises. If Trump pushes China too hard to close its largest state-owned bank, he will actually be antagonizing a tenant.