On the same day Ivanka Trump sat down for dinner with the Chinese president at Mar-a-Lago, her company got approval from the Chinese government for trademarks to sell jewelry, spa services, and bags, the AP reports. That same week, 3.4 tons of her company’s bags, wallets, and blouses arrived in the US from Shanghai and Hong Kong, where they were manufactured. With her taking an official position in her father’s White House, Trump is now covered by federal ethics rules, meaning she’s not allowed to make government decisions that could benefit her financial holdings, according to the New York Times. While Trump has stepped down from her business, she hasn’t given up financial control.
Barack Obama’s chief White House ethics lawyer says he “would never have allowed” Trump to get heavily involved in Chinese matters politically, which she is, while her business is so heavily tied to the country. His counterpart from the George W. Bush administration says Trump needs to “put the business on hold and stop trying to get trademarks while you’re in office.” Because it’s not just China: Ivanka Trump Mark LLC has recently filed for trademarks in Canada and the Philippines and is waiting on trademark decisions from Qatar, Kuwait, Panama, Brazil, and six other countries. Japan approved her trademarks in February. Meanwhile, Trump has sat for political meetings with the leaders of Japan, Canada, and Germany. The potential for Trump mixing business and politics could present unprecedented ethical difficulties.