The company of Ivanka Trump won valuable trademarks in China the same day the first daughter dined with the President of China, Xi Jinping. According to chief ethics lawyer of the White House under the presidency of former Pres. Barack Obama, Norman Elsen, Ivanka Trump has many ties and conflicts with China. Yet, she and her husband, Jared, appear to be deeply involved with the contacts and policy of China.
The win of Ivanka Trump’s company for three trademarks gave her monopoly rights to sell her brand’s spa services, bags, and jewelry in the second largest economy in the world. The dinner underscored how it must be extremely difficult for the first daughter to separate her business from politics, especially now that she has a new position as a White House staffer.
The brand of Ivanka Trump is flourishing all the while she is crafting her own political career in her office in the West Wing. Despite the boycotts and numerous stores that limited her merchandise, she managed to look for ways to keep her company afloat.
US imports, which are from China mostly, shot up at least 160% from last year. This means sales have hit record labels this year. The brand that Ivanka Trump still owns says that distribution is still growing. As matter of fact, the Trump line just launched an affordable jewelry line, as well as an activewear line. As of this moment, it is working in expanding its intellectual property footprint on a global scale. Aside from winning Chinese provisional approvals, Ivanka Trump also applied for trademarks in Puerto Rico, the US, Canada, and Philippines after the election.
According to the ethics lawyers, the White House’s commercial currents are unprecedented in American politics. The entire family of Pres. Donald Trump created a very unfamiliar landscape that is lined with pitfalls. Retailers and consumers are forced to wrestle with passions that are inspired by the mid-market collection of Ivanka Trump.
It is not illegal to use the prestige that comes with government service in building a brand. But, the criminal law prohibits any federal official including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to participate in matters of the government that can make an impact to a person’s financial interest. Some people say that because Ivanka’s business is widening its scope, she is threatening her capability to give the President of the US credible counsel, especially on core issues such as intellectual property, trade, and value of Chinese currency.
“Put your business on hold. Also, stop trying to grab trademarks while you are still in the government,” said Richard Painter in his advice to Ivanka. Painter served as the chief ethics lawyer of the White House under the presidency of former Pres. George W. Bush.
In an attempt to address some ethical concerns, Ivanka shifted the assets of the brand to a trust that is under her family’s name. The trust is valued at more or less $50M. She also pledged to not meddle in issues that will present conflicts.