Donald Trump loves branding, but as we’ve seen time and time again, he’s been fighting several trademark battles in China as entrepreneurs attempted to sell everything from Trump-branded toilets to a Trump-branded escort service, while at the same time securing his own trademarks in the country. Proving the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, the AP is reporting that Ivanka Trump’s company won approval for new trademarks from China the same day Trump and her husband Jared Kushner shared a steak dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife at Mar-a-Largo.
Despite being the subject of boycotts and being taken out of certain stores, Ivanka’s Trump brand continues to grow, even after she officially joined her father’s White House administration:
U.S. imports, almost all of them from China, shot up an estimated 166 percent last year, while sales hit record levels in 2017. The brand, which Trump still owns, says distribution is growing. It has launched new activewear and affordable jewelry lines and is working to expand its global intellectual property footprint.
The company also applied for trademarks in other markets following the election, including the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Canada, and the U.S.
The Trump administration’s conflicts of interest are nothing new and, regarding the first daughter “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,” the AP explains.
While it’s not illegal to build her brand while working for her father, it is illegal for advisors to engage in government matters that could enrich them personally:
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.
To combat potential conflicts, Trump put the brand’s assets in a trust and vowed to recuse herself during instances that could draw conflict of interest complaints. However, in Trump’s defense, trademark squatting is an ongoing issue (as her father would know), and defensive copyrighting is frequently done.
(Via Associated Press)