According to a report by the Associated Press, First Daughter Ivanka Trump won provisional approval for three trademarks in China — on the same day that she and her husband Jared Kushner had dinner with Chinese president Xi Jinping. The move gives giving the country monopoly rights to sell her fashion brand.
The AP reports that on April 6, “Ivanka Trump’s company won provisional approval from the Chinese government for three new trademarks, giving it monopoly rights to sell Ivanka brand jewelry, bags and spa services in the world’s second-largest economy,” underscoring “how difficult it is for [Ivanka] Trump, who has tried to distance herself from the brand that bears her name, to separate business from politics in her new position at the White House.”
Boycotts have not stopped Ivanka’s brand from thriving. New lines are still being launched from her company, and in addition to the China deal, she’s applied for at least nine new trademarks in the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Canada and the U.S. since the election.
From the AP:
The commercial currents of the Trump White House are unprecedented in modern American politics, ethics lawyers say. They have created an unfamiliar landscape riven with ethical pitfalls, and forced consumers and retailers to wrestle with the unlikely passions now inspired by Ivanka Trump’s mid-market collection of ruffled blouses, shifts and wedges.
Using the prestige of government service to build a brand is not illegal. But criminal conflict of interest law prohibits federal officials, like Trump and her husband, from participating in government matters that could impact their own financial interest or that of their spouse. Some argue that the more her business broadens its scope, the more it threatens to encroach on the ability of two trusted advisers to deliver credible counsel to the president on core issues like trade, intellectual property, and the value of the Chinese currency.
‘‘Ivanka has so many China ties and conflicts, yet she and Jared appear deeply involved in China contacts and policy. I would never have allowed it,’’ Norman Eisen, who served as chief White House ethics lawyer under Barack Obama, told the AP.
‘‘For their own sake, and the country’s, Ivanka and Jared should consider stepping away from China matters.’’
You can read the AP’s full report via The Boston Globe here.
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