Ivanka Trump Brand’s New Chinese Trademarks Ignite More Ethical Questions

Ivanka Trump’s brand expansion overseas has sparked fresh ire this week, after The New York Times pointed out that the Chinese government recently approved seven new trademarks for the brand, for such products as books, cushions and housewares.

Speaking to FN today, Abigail Klem, who serves as president of the first daughter’s namesake company, responded, “The brand has filed, updated, and rigorously protected its international trademarks over the past several years in the normal course of business, especially in regions where trademark infringement is rampant. We have recently seen a surge in trademark filings by unrelated third parties trying to capitalize on the name and it is our responsibility to diligently protect our trademark.”

On its own, the news would be barely a blip on the national radar, but amid a heated trade battle between the Chinese government and U.S. President Donald Trump and team, it has ignited (another) round of ethical questions about whether the Trump family is profiting from the presidency.

The Ivanka Trump brand has faced this criticism before. On April 6, 2017 — the same day that Trump and husband Jared Kushner dined with Chinese President Xi Jinping — her eponymous label reportedly won provisional approval for three new trademarks, sparking a strong public reaction.

But adding fuel to the fire this time is the fact that, at around the same time that his daughter’s brand was approved for its trademarks, President Trump announced that he would work with President Xi to help rescue the Chinese communications firm ZTE, which was threatened by new sanctions.

Many have pointed to a quid-pro-quo scenario designed to benefit the Trump empire and its global expansion, though more likely the move was related to the U.S.’s ongoing negotiations with North Korea, in which China has been a key player.

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