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Ivanka Trump.. (REUTERS/Jim Bourg)

'Monopoly rights'

Ivanka Trump won trademark approvals from China on the very same day she dined with country’s president

By WITW Staff on April 18, 2017

First daughter Ivanka Trump officially took a job last month in her father’s administration after coming under scrutiny over ethics concerns when she was given an office in the West Wing to go with an informal role as an adviser. Just a few weeks later, Trump is once again walking a tightrope when it comes to conflicts of interest. According to a report by The Associated Press, the Chinese government approved three trademarks for Trump’s brand, giving her “monopoly rights” to sell jewelry, bags and spa services in the country. The decision was handed down on the very same night that Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump’s waterfront Florida resort, and dined with her and other members of the first family, including the president and Trump’s husband Jared Kushner, who is also a top White House adviser.

The new trademarks add to a growing collection owned by Ivanka Trump’s brand, CNN reported, and the Trump Organization, her father’s company, which is now being run by her brothers. Trump stepped down as CEO of her company to avoid conflicts of interest, and, in a statement to the AP, her lawyer said, “She has retained authority to direct the trustees to terminate agreements that she determines create a conflict of interest or the appearance of one.”

Still, some ethics experts say she needs to do more to untangle herself from her business ventures and possible conflicts of interests, particularly when it comes to China, a country her father has in the past described as a “currency manipulator” — though he’s backed off that assessment in recent days. China’s economy is the world’s second-largest, according to the AP.

“The danger is that with any discussion with the Chinese, one party or the other may try to bring up trade,” Richard Painter, the chief White House ethics attorney in the George W. Bush administration, told the AP. “That’s a slippery slope that may require her or Jared to step out of the room.”

Read the full story at The Associated Press.


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