Ivanka Trump’s business recently secured five more valuable trademarks from China (with a sixth given trial approval), allowing her to expand her business there to the tune of millions of dollars in profits. The timing of the approval suspiciously overlaps with President Trump’s own dealings with China.
The new trademarks were approved on May 7, just days before Trump promised on Twitter to help save the Chinese phone company ZTE.
ZTE had previously been banned from buying American technology because it violated U.S. sanctions against Iran and North Korea. On Friday, Trump announced that ZTE would be allowed to continue business after paying a $1.3 billion fine, a deal that both Democrats and Republicans in Congress oppose. In fact, more than 60 House Democrats are now calling for an ethics investigation into Trump’s ties to China.
Ivanka’s trademarks are not the only way the Trump family seems to have conspicuously benefited from Trump’s support for one of China’s biggest telecom companies. In the days before that public promise, China also loaned $500 million to an Indonesian theme park that will include a Trump-branded golf course and hotels. The Trump administration could not explain the apparent conflict of interest of the Trump organization benefiting from Trump’s actions as president.
It is also noteworthy that this isn’t the first time that Ivanka’s business has been approved for Chinese trademarks under suspicious circumstances. Last year, three such trademarks were approved within hours of Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago. Following that meeting, Trump also reneged on his campaign promise to label China a “currency manipulator” and instead praised the country’s leader.
The organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has lambasted the administration for these clear conflicts of interest, noting that Ivanka often represents the U.S. at diplomatic events, even as she continues to profit from the business bearing her name.