As reported by the Associated Press, the Ivanka Trump product line has just been granted several trademarks in China to protect Ivanka Trump’s brand image. It seems like a remarkable coincidence that the approval for these trademarks occurred on the same day that she sat in on a meeting between President Xi Jinping of China and Donald Trump at Trump’s Florida Mar-a-Lago resort.
Conflict of Interest for Ivanka Trump
It’s hard to see how anyone could describe this situation is anything but a conflict of interest for Ivanka Trump – and Donald Trump as well. The Ivanka Trump China situation in which she sat in with her father – the current resident of the White House – on a meeting with the president of China was in itself disturbing enough. After all, the only person in the room less qualified to be there was Donald Trump himself.
But the fact that her personal business interest – and by extension that of Donald Trump – became entangled in a major meeting between the leaders of the two most powerful nations on Earth is a conflict of interest of epic proportions. If this had happened during a Democratic administration, Democrats and Republicans alike would be demanding the president’s resignation.
What Trump Should Have Done
Such a conflict of interest could have been easily avoided. Most presidents place their business interests in a blind trust so that they cannot give even the appearance of impropriety when making decisions as president. Donald Trump instead handed these business interests over to his children – the same children he sees almost every day.
In the case of his daughter Ivanka Trump, her current high-level position in the Trump administration means that she should have also placed her business interest in a blind trust or sold them off entirely. As reported by the Hollywood Reporter, Ivanka Trump claimed earlier in the year that she was distancing herself from her business, but this incident with the China trademarks throws that into question.
But this conflict of interest is even worse than a vague appearance of questionable behavior. The fact that multiple China trademarks were awarded to Ivanka Trump at the China and United States summit at Trump’s hotel at Mar-a-Lago screams potential corruption. Worse, it will place all of Donald Trump’s future decisions under even closer scrutiny.
Ivanka Trump China Connection
The Ivanka Trump conflict of interest when it comes to China isn’t limited to just the trademarks she was granted by the Chinese government. Despite Donald Trump’s repeated suggestion that people should “buy American” so that we can bring jobs back to the United States, many of the items that the Trump family sells – from clothing to jewelry – are manufactured in China.
And it hasn’t been that long since another Donald Trump conflict of interest regarding his daughter’s business reared its head. This happened when Macy’s department stores chose not to continue selling his daughter’s products. In response to this affront, Donald Trump issued yet another ranting tweet in which he said the following.
“My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!”
With the potential for a military conflict or even war with North Korea becoming more likely every day, the perception – or even worse the reality – of a Trump conflict of interest when it comes to United States-Chinese relations is extremely disquieting. Serious issues like war and peace, the future safety of South Korea, and the stability of our relationship with China shouldn’t be influenced by the Trump family’s business interest in China. The United States needs for its allies to know it is making these momentous decisions for good and valid reasons that have nothing to do with Ivanka Trump.
[Featured Image by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images]