Ivanka Trump this month received trademark approval from China for a broad array of items, including baby blankets, wallpaper and carpets. That wouldn’t be unusual for a global business built on consumer goods such as elegant women’s clothing and shoes, but it raises numerous ethical issues given that her father is the U.S. president.
The timing appears especially fraught given President Donald Trump agreed to rescue Chinese telecom giant ZTE Corp. shortly after Ivanka Trump’s brand was awarded the trademarks.
Ivanka did place her business in a trust, but she still gets the profits from it. Nice work if you can get it and your daddy’s the president who suddenly took an interest in all the lost Chinese jobs after his administration sanctioned the telecoms company weeks earlier.
The ethics watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) noted some other coincidental boosts for Ivanka’s biz.
“Last year, Ivanka’s business won preliminary approval for three trademarks on the same day that she dined with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago. Earlier this year, Trump announced tariffs against China that exempted clothing — including clothing imports from Ivanka’s Chinese manufacturers.”
Overall, Ivanka has now racked up “34 trademarks in China that would allow her to capitalize on her brand in the world’s second-largest economy.”
Ivanka was scheduled to lead a White House call Tuesday on an unrelated topic but as soon as reporters floated a trademark question, she skedaddled.
“You can refer those questions to the press office,” press aide Ninio Fetalvo told reporters Tuesday after Ivanka Trump was asked to address questions about her company.
The White House did not respond to CBS News’ request for comment.
You can refer all those unanswered questions to the White House press shop and we’ll ignore them there too. Nothing says public service like a perpetual White House dodge.