Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Electronics | By Jesus Weaver

Business and politics stoke record sales of Ivanka's brand

Business and politics stoke record sales of Ivanka's brand

China's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday the government equally handles applications to register trademarks, following a report that the company of the daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump has had new trademarks approved in China.

The same day that Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner dined with Xi and his wife at- where else?

Like her father, Ivanka Trump has not fully divested herself from her family business - in her case, a fashion and jewelry company valued at more than $50 million.

China also recently granted preliminary approvals for 35 Trump-related trademarks for the Trump Organization, covering its mining, construction and hospitality businesses.

Ivanka Trump with her husband Jared Kushner during a dinner with President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago.

Sales hit record levels in 2017, despite boycotts and several stores limiting her merchandise.

The brand, which is still owned by Ivanka, who now also holds an official White House role, not only hit record sales this year, but saw its USA imports, most of which came from China, increase 166% in 2016.

Questions regarding conflicts of interest swirl around the USA president and his vast business empire, too. From the moment she set foot in the White House, her vaguely-defined but expansive role as the president's "eyes and ears" has created an unprecedented new "advisor" position for the self-styled businesswoman - and with it, unprecedented openings for conflicts of interest. Some argue that the more Ivanka Trump's business broadens its scope, the more it threatens to encroach on the couple's ability to deliver credible advice on core issues like trade, intellectual property and the value of the Chinese currency.

But not all USA business are benefitting from the new administration.

Fifty-three percent of Americans say it is not appropriate for Kushner play a significant role in the White House, compared to the 32 percent that say it is appropriate. "The company has applied for at least nine new trademarks in the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Canada and the U.S". In a statement to CNN, Abigail Klem, president of Ivanka Trump's company, claims the awarding of trademarks are simply the "normal course of doing business".

Overall, Ivanka Trump Marks LLC, her trademarking business, has filed 173 foreign trademarks in 21 countries, as well as in Hong Kong and the European Union, in little more than a decade, according to the Times analysis.

Publicly, Ivanka Trump has taken a gracious, charming approach toward Beijing. "I would never have allowed it", said Norman Eisen, who served as chief White House ethics lawyer under President Barack Obama.

"Ivanka has so many China ties and conflicts, yet she and Jared appear deeply involved in China contacts and policy".

Jamie Gorelick, a Washington ethics lawyer who is acting as an independent adviser to Trump's trust, said in a statement that since Trump had resigned from her company, she "has had no involvement with trademark applications submitted by the business".

Unlike her father, Ivanka is subject to federal rules that prevent her from participating in matters in which she has a financial interest now that she works in the White House in an official capacity.

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