Something Sketchy Happened the Same Day Ivanka Trump Met with China's President

It is only the latest in a series of worldwide trademarks the Trump family has swiftly received since Donald Trump became President - piling on the potential conflicts of interest for him and his kin.

February 22, 2017: Ivanka Trump Marks LLC applies for another trademark, covering perfume, among other things, in Canada, where it holds 22 pending or registered marks, according to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

When Mr. Trump hosted Chinese President xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago, the foreign leader was serenaded by the president's granddaughter.

Sales hit record levels in 2017, despite boycotts and several stores limiting her merchandise. USA imports, nearly all from China, shot up an estimated 166 percent a year ago. One business school student said that when she wakes up in the morning, she often asks herself, "What would Ivanka do?"

AP cited a statement from a spokesperson for the Ivanka Trump brand as saying that all 2017 Chinese trademarks were defensive, aimed at preventing counterfeiters or squatters from using her name.

Ivanka's business has been burgeoning since her businessman father stormed into the White House. Some argue that the more her business broadens its scope, the more it threatens to encroach on the ability of two trusted advisers to deliver credible counsel to the president on core issues like trade, intellectual property and the value of Chinese currency. Although she has placed her financial stake in her $50 million fashion brand in a trust, according to Trump's financial disclosure forms, that trust is overseen by Josh Kushner, her husband's brother, and his sister Nicole Meyer.

But the focus on this aspect of Ivanka Trump's role dangerously obscures something else that is at least as important about her: her conduct inside the White House is vexed by the same controversial conflicts of interest plaguing the president himself. Trademarks can be used to expand a business or defend against copycats.

Though there is no direct evidence linking her trademark approval to the dinner or any other meeting with the Chinese government, the story does draw attention to the fine line the Trump White House is walking when it comes to maintaining its family businesses.

She explained that filing trademarks is necessary for "regions where trademark infringement is rampant." .

Raising eyebrows once again, Ivanka Trump follows in her father's footsteps and appears to mix her private business ambitions with American politics.

According to China's Trademark Office, Ivanka Trump Marks LLC has 16 registered trademarks in China and 32 pending applications ranging from cosmetics to leather handbags to clothes to spa and beauty services.

Although Trump insists the company sought trademarks to protect the brand, it can mean a lot of money for the company.

In Trump's administration, Ivanka and her husband have taken on prominent roles as China interlocutors.

"When they weren't going into the White House, I thought there was a lot of leeway there", said John Pudner, the executive director of the conservative nonprofit Take Back Our Republic.

"Yet she and Jared appear deeply involved in China contacts and policy". "For their own sake, and the country's, Ivanka and Jared should consider stepping away from China matters".

"Ivanka will not weigh in on business strategy, marketing issues or the commercial terms of agreements", her attorney, Jamie Gorelick, said in a statement. "It affects diverse national interests and every sector of society". "If it were up to him, he'd seldom leave NY", she once wrote.

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"We don't know what the potential of that is because there is so little transparency. this thing with Ivanka, you can kind of view it as a tip of the iceberg", he said.



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