Ivanka Trump. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images
China has granted Ivanka Trump initial approval for 16 trademarks on a bevy of branded products — from shoes and sunglasses to semiconductors and voting machines — the New York Times reports.
Why it matters: The approvals come more than two years after Trump’s company applied, "which is far longer than the average processing time of a year or less," Hao Junbo, a trademark lawyer at the Beijing Hao Law Firm, told the Washington Post. Trump closed her fashion brand in July amid ethics concerns over her new job as senior adviser to her father, but the trademark approvals have renewed concerns about potential conflicts of interest given President Trump's ongoing clashes with China on trade.
- Ivanka's representatives claim that the trademarks are part of a global effort to protect the Trump name.
The bottom line: Ethics watchdog groups, like Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, remain skeptical of the timing of the approvals:
"Since she has retained her trademarks, the public will continue to have to ask whether President Trump has made foreign policy decisions in the interest of his and his family's businesses."