President Donald Trump is not the only member of his family who appears to be reaping economic rewards from his leadership of the Free World.
The AP reports that on April 6, 2017 the president’s daughter, who is also his White House assistant, Ivanka Trump, along with her husband Jared Kushner — also an assistant to the president — sat next to Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, at a state dinner at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago.
Trump has often conducted official business at the Florida resort, which he owns, having traveled there to play golf every weekend since he took office.
The AP’s Erika Kinetz writes: “That same day, China grant[ed] her company preliminary approval for three trademarks that confer monopoly rights to sell Ivanka brand jewelry, bags and spa services in the world’s second-largest economy.”
Ivanka Trump Marks LLC, which is still technically owned by President Trump, though he “stepped back” from management, has reported record sales since the inauguration.
The new marketing privileges are bound to raise yet more ethics concerns, already on the table after Trump was awarded 38 trademarks in China in late February and early March.
The AP reported March 8 that China had granted “preliminary approval for 38 new Trump trademarks, paving the way for Donald Trump and his family to potentially develop a host of branded businesses from hotels to insurance to bodyguard and escort services, public documents show.”
The trademark applications had been pending since April 2016, even as “Trump railed against China at campaign rallies, accusing it of currency manipulation and stealing US jobs.”
The AP reported at the time on the ethics issues raised, quoting Dan Plane, a director at Simone IP Services, a Hong Kong intellectual property consultancy, who said he had never seen so many applications approved so expeditiously.
“For all these marks to sail through so quickly and cleanly, with no similar marks, no identical marks, no issues with specifications – boy, it’s weird,” Plane told the AP.
Plane also said he would be “very, very surprised” if officials from the ruling Communist party were not monitoring Trump’s intellectual property interests.