Ivanka Trump's company won valuable China trademarks the day she dined with Chinese President Xi Jinping

jwc2blue
By:  @jwc2blue, 2 months ago
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'Ivanka has so many China ties and conflicts, yet she and Jared appear deeply involved in China contacts and policy. I would never have allowed it,' said Norman Eisen, chief White House ethics lawyer under Barack Obama.


Ivanka Trump's company won provisional approval from the Chinese government for three new trademarks, giving it monopoly rights to sell Ivanka brand jewellery, bags and spa services in the world's second-largest economy. That night, the first daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner, sat next to the president of China and his wife for a steak and Dover sole dinner at Mar-a-Lago

The scenario underscores how difficult it is for Ms Trump, who has tried to distance herself from the brand that bears her name, to separate business from politics in her new position at the White House. 

As the first daughter crafts a political career from her West Wing office, her brand is flourishing, despite boycotts and several stores limiting her merchandise. US imports, almost all of them from China, shot up an estimated 166 per cent last year, while sales hit record levels in 2017. The brand, which Ms Trump still owns, says distribution is growing. It has launched new activewear and affordable jewellery lines and is working to expand its global intellectual property footprint. In addition to winning the approvals from China, Ivanka Trump Marks LLC applied for at least nine new trademarks in the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Canada and the US after the election. 

The commercial currents of the Trump White House are unprecedented in modern American politics, ethics lawyers say. They have created an unfamiliar landscape riven with ethical pitfalls, and forced consumers and retailers to wrestle with the unlikely passions now inspired by Ivanka Trump's mid-market collection of ruffled blouses, shifts and wedges. 

Using the prestige of government service to build a brand is not illegal. But criminal conflict of interest law prohibits federal officials, like Ms Trump and her husband, from participating in government matters that could impact their own financial interest or that of their spouse. 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 the Chinese currency. 

“Put the business on hold and stop trying to get trademarks while you're in government,” advised Richard Painter, who served as chief White House ethics lawyer under George W. Bush. 

To address ethical concerns, Trump has shifted the brand's assets to a family-run trust valued at more than $50m and pledged to recuse herself from issues that present conflicts. 

“Ivanka will not weigh in on business strategy, marketing issues, or the commercial terms of agreements,” her attorney, Jamie Gorelick, said in a statement. “She has retained authority to direct the trustees to terminate agreements that she determines create a conflict of interest or the appearance of one.” 

In a recent interview with CBS News, Trump argued that her business would be doing even better if she hadn't moved to Washington and placed restrictions on her team to ensure that “any growth is done with extreme caution.” 

China, however, remains a nagging concern. “Ivanka has so many China ties and conflicts, yet she and Jared appear deeply involved in China contacts and policy. I would never have allowed it,” said Norman Eisen, who served as chief White House ethics lawyer under Barack Obama. “For their own sake, and the country's, Ivanka and Jared should consider stepping away from China matters.” 

Instead, the first daughter and her husband have emerged as prominent interlocutors with China, where they have both had significant business ties. Last year, Kushner pursued hundreds of millions of dollars in real estate investments from Anbang Insurance Group, a financial conglomerate with close ties to the Chinese state. After media reports about the deal, talks were called off. 

Publicly, Ivanka has taken a gracious, charming approach toward Beijing. During the Mar-a-Lago meetings, her daughter, 5-year-old Arabella stood in a gilded room and sang a traditional Chinese song, in Mandarin, for China's president, Xi Jinping. The video, which was lavishly praised by Chinese state media, played over 2.2 million times on China's popular news portal qq.com. 

The week of the summit, 3.4 tons of Ivanka Trump handbags, wallets and blouses arrived in the US from Hong Kong and Shanghai. U. imports of her merchandise grew an estimated 40 percent in the first quarter of this year, according to Panjiva Inc., which maintains and analyzes global shipping records. 

Mr Painter, the former Bush administration lawyer, recommended full recusal from issues related to trade with China. That is likely to be difficult because trade is so deeply embedded in the US-China relationship and has been linked with other matters, like North Korea. 

“The danger is that with any discussion with the Chinese, one party or the other may try to bring up trade,” he said. “That's a slippery slope that may require her or Jared to step out of the room.” 

Gorelick, Ivanka Trump's attorney, said that Ivanka and her husband would steer clear of specific areas that could impact her business, or be seen as conflicts of interest, but are under no legal obligation to step back from huge swaths of policy, like trade with China. 

Under the rules, Trump would recuse herself from conversations about duties on clothing imported from China, Gorelick said, but not broad foreign policy. 

“In between, you have to assess it case-by-case,” she said. 

Trademarks can be signs of corporate ambition, though many countries — such as China, where trademark squatting is rampant — also allow for defensive filings to prevent copycats from using a brand. 

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jwc2blue
link 04/21/17 12:10:51PM @jwc2blue:

The Drumpf family corruption is shameless. 

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jwc2blue
link 04/21/17 12:59:29PM @jwc2blue:

Trolling, reported.

You've had your warning.

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XXJefferson#51
link 04/22/17 10:08:13PM @xxjefferson51:

You are reporting yourself?  You are the only one here on this worthless article.  

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jwc2blue
link 04/23/17 03:07:24PM @jwc2blue:

Have you got anything on topic to contribute or do we have to suffer your supreme asininity on everyone's articles?

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jwc2blue
link 04/22/17 09:31:55AM @jwc2blue:

It's amazing to witness Drumpf supporters stay silent on the corruption of him and his family after chanting "lock her up."

Amazing, but not surprising.

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Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
link 04/23/17 05:35:30PM @sister-mary-agnes-ample-bottom:

Ivanka Trump seems to be a lovely and smart woman.  However, this news takes the traditional conflict of interest status to a new level.  While I'm sure these are happy times in the Kushner family, how is any of this helping to make America great again? 

There was another big day earlier this year for the Trump Organization when China approved the trademark on the Trump Brand...after years of red tape and opposition.  The good news is that the Trump sons can sue the crap out of the makers of...

Trump Toilets

 

...and Trump Condums.

OK, so during my search for an image bearing the Trump Condoms name, I was side-tracked by the unique and artistic urinal installation and lost interest in the condom search.

All of that said, and correct me if I'm wrong, but Donald Trump campaigned on becoming 'the biggest jobs president ever'.  It's just a little unfortunate for the United States that he was talking about jobs in China. 

PS:  Ivanka Trump does not own her brand name...her father does.  Also worthy of note, during a January 11th press conference wherein Trump stated that he and his daughter would be resigning from their roles in the Trump Organization, attorney Sheri Dillon pledged that the organization would not actively pursue any foreign business deals during Trump's presidency, but would still remain active in pursuing US-related domestic business deals.  Ms. Dillon's comments start at 19:19.

 

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