Ivanka Trump’s Company Has Filed 14 Additional Trademark Applications in China

By Joseph Mandour on June 8, 2017

Los Angeles – On March 28th, 2017, Ivanka Trump’s company filed for at least 14 trademarks in China. It is the latest wave of trademark applications filed by the Trump family companies. Last year, Ms. Trump’s company filed 36 applications. These trademark applications raise ethical concerns over the Trump family’s business ties while holding public office.

Specifically, there is concern that the Trumps are susceptible to influence from foreign nations. According the Larry Noble, general counsel for the US watchdog group, Campaign Legal Center, China knows that denying these trademarks would draw a negative reaction from the President of the United States, and approval would draw a favorable one. This type of situation with a foreign nation can lead to an Emolument, of profiting from elected office, which is prohibited under the Constitution. Noble is concerned that China can pressure the president or white house staff by granting or denying the trademark applications related to their private businesses.

Ms. Trump stepped down from her management role in her company when she became a White House advisor. Her attorneys have stated that her assets have been transferred to a trust and she would recuse herself of policy matters, like trade agreements, that could affect her business. Even still, she retains possession of an ownership stake in her company. She stands to benefit from these trademark applications and the general success of the business.

Ms. Trump’s company, which primarily specializes in clothing fashion and accessories, is particularly popular in China, where Ms. Trump is admired for her success and femininity. The company claims it filed the trademark applications to protect itself from a “surge” of unrelated third parties who were trying to claim the Trump name for themselves. Ms. Trump’s attorneys insist that the applications were “normal course for business.”

Noble, while admitting that the motivation behind the trademark applications may be sincere, asserts that it does not matter. He claims that Ms. Trump should have either sold her entire stake in the company or removed the company from foreign markets entirely. In a statement made in response to the latest Trump trademark applications, he said that becoming a public servant requires “sacrifice.” He goes on to explain that when you are in government, the American public is your sole interest. There should be no conflict of interest.

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