Ivanka Trump is doing pretty well for herself as first daughter and (some say) pseudo first lady to Donald Trump. The fashion designer and entrepreneur’s clothing, home and jewelry lines have been turning a tidy profit since her famous father took office (despite a boycott or two), and now, Ivanka is slated to profit even more heavily from her dad’s stint in the White House.
How so? As the New York Daily News reported, Ivanka Trump was recently granted three new Chinese trademarks. Perhaps not coincidentally, those trademarks were granted on the very same day that Ivanka and her presidential adviser hubby Jared Kushner met and dined with China’s president, Xi Jinping, and his wife at Mar-a-Lago earlier this month.
The meeting took place on April 6, at the Florida Trump property that has been dubbed the “Winter White House,” within hours of the communist nation (that Donald Trump once accused of being a “currency manipulator,” a label he has since backtracked on) approving Ivanka Trump’s new trademarks in China.
Not surprisingly, Ivanka Trump isn’t the only member of her family to recently receive some seriously expedited Chinese trademark approval. Donald Trump himself has been granted a slew of new trademarks out of China (and Mexico) since taking office, raising ethical eyebrows left and right and claims that the Trump family is engaging in illegal conflicts of interest by mixing politics with business endeavors.
Ivanka Trump’s newly granted trademarks will cover spa services, jewelry and bags in China, all branded with the highly-recognizable and profitable “Trump” name.
So far, the Trump administration has declined to comment on the financial benefits that his daughter will reap as a result of her Chinese trademark approval or the fact that it was granted at almost the same time as Ivanka Trump and her husband wooed China’s president from a Trump property during a state visit.
However, the White House has not always been this shy about speaking of (and even plugging) Ivanka Trump merchandise. Earlier this year, not long after Inauguration Day, retail giant Nordstrom pulled Ivanka’s products from its shelves, citing dismal sales. The move prompted a widespread right-wing boycott of the chain, as well as POTUS Donald Trump taking to Twitter to berate Nordstrom for their decision to cut into Ivanka’s profit margins.
Donald Trump’s decision to bash Nordstrom on social media in an effort to protect his daughter’s business interests drew immediate ire and calls that the POTUS was in the midst of an ethics violation with his tweet.
Despite the public outcry, Donald Trump and his White House advisers pushed ahead with their criticism of Nordstrom, with Kellyanne Conway even going as far as urging the American people to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff” during a televised interview. Kellyanne was even willing to admit that she was providing Ivanka Trump with “a free commercial.”
“Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”
Conway was reportedly “scolded” over the illegal Ivanka Trump adverts by government ethics groups, but neither she, Donald Trump nor Ivanka Trump faced any serious repercussions over the blurred lines between commerce and government. However, that hasn’t stopped those on social media from taking note of Ivanka’s newest, seemingly preferential treatment, treatment apparently contingent on her dad’s position as POTUS.
The Trump family’s business interests remain vast, and have raised repeated and ongoing questions about the president’s ability to separate his duties as POTUS from his constant attempts to profit from his brand and name. A large number of ethics experts believe that Donald Trump’s muddy business waters could ultimately constitute a violation of the emoluments clause, which prohibit the POTUS from taking gifts from leaders of foreign nations.
If it can be proven that Donald Trump is receiving trademark approval in exchange for favorable treatment of foreign leaders, he could find himself on the receiving end of impeachment proceedings.
It is unclear what legal and/or ethical impacts of Ivanka Trump’s new Chinese trademarks could emerge, or what effects those impacts could have on her father’s presidency.
One thing that is clear is that Donald Trump waged political war on China before, throughout his campaign and leading up to his swearing in. From bashing drone theft to calling global warming a Chinese conspiracy, to blasting the nation as a currency manipulator, he rarely let up both on social media and at speaking engagements.
Ever since his family’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and apparently Ivanka Trump’s sweeping new trademark approvals in China, Trump has done a complete about-face when it comes to his China commentary. In fact, he tweeted out the following just 10 days after Ivanka Trump’s trademark approval.
What do you think of the presidential flip-flop on China? Do you believe it could have something to do with the expedited trademark approval granted to both Donald and Ivanka Trump in recent weeks? Let us know in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Alex Brandon/AP Images]