Ivanka Trump’s businesses just received a huge boost in China after the country awarded the American First Daughter with seven new trademarks on a host of products from fashion to books and other household goods.
The news emerged around the same time as President Trump showed his commitment to save a large telecommunications company in China from going bankrupt.
The said company has a controversial history of its business dealings with America’s foes including North Korea and Iran. So, why exactly is Trump trying to save the rogue company? And is China’s generosity towards Ivanka’s businesses during this bad financial timing just a coincidence?
New Trademarks in China
May was a good month for entrepreneur and First Daughter Ivanka Trump whose businesses were issued seven new trademarks in China, raising suspicious that the foreign government may be giving her special treatments that she wouldn’t receive if she wasn’t the US President’s daughter. The news of the trademarks came just as the Chinese telecom company ZTE received support from President Trump to help it overcome a financial crisis.
The trademarks cover a number of products being sold under Ivanka’s brand, including blankets, bamboo coffins and baby products, along with goods that the entrepreneur plans to sell in the future but does not want other companies to sell under her branding.
Last week, insiders reported that Trump administration had struck a deal with the Chinese government to save the country’s telecom giant by allowing it to trade American products under the condition that the company must pay a hefty fine for its secret dealings with America’s foes in the past due to which ZTE had previously been banned from buying or selling American goods.
Ever since he first began campaigning for presidency, Trump has fiercely contended security and trade issues in Beijing and raged about how the country’s trademark infringement crisis was putting the American economy at a huge loss.
But the slew of trademarks earned by Ms. Trump’s brand within the past few months has raised questions whether China is trying to curry favors with the US President through his daughter, who also happens to work at the White House.
Trump’s brand received preliminary approval for the trademarks this year in February, and within three months, the decision had been moved from the preliminary stage to final approval. During the same time, the Chinese government is in the midst of trade negotiations on a host of economic issues with the US President.
Brand’s President Speaks Out
The president of Ivanka Trump’s brand, Abigail Klem, also released a statement to clarify that the entrepreneur was not receiving any special treatments from international governments in her business endeavors. The company regularly files applications for copyright approval in places in china where there is a high risk of copyright infringement.
Abigail added that, like any other company that wants to protect its goods from trademark violations, Trump’s brand has also requested for and protected its trademarks in the international market for the past many years. Trademarking isn’t a new phenomenon in Ivanka’s company, but it is more heavily scrutinized ever since Donald Trump became president.
Abigail said that around the end of 2017, it came to the company’s knowledge that various third parties in China were trying to capitalize on Ivanka Trump’s brand reputation and filing for trademarks under her company name which forced them to step in and protect their business from further infringement.
Conflict of Interest
Although Ms. Trump handed over the leadership position in her company to Abigail in last year after her father became President, she still owns majority of the stake in the company, and, is in the position to make undisputed decisions behind closed doors.
The federal law prevents Ivanka from pursuing matters of personal financial interest while she is working in the White House. However, there is no law that requires her to sell off her stake in the company while her father is the United States President. Ivanka’s brand has faced intense criticism in the past for manufacturing products in Asian countries with cheap labor and selling them in the U.S.