Ivanka Trump’s company received provisional trademark approvals from the Chinese government on the same day that she dined with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
The decision, which gave Trump a monopoly on selling Ivanka-branded jewelry, bags and spa services in China, was reached just hours before she and husband Jared Kushner, sat next to Xi and his wife for dinner at President Trump’s vacation home.
The news underscores the unprecedented conflicts of interest that both Donald and Ivanka Trump face in their new offices — and the latest news has ethics watchdogs up in arms.
“Put the business on hold,” Richard Painter, the top White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush, told the AP.
“Ivanka has so many China ties and conflicts, yet she and Jared appear deeply involved in China contacts and policy. I would never have allowed it,” added Norman Eisen, who served the same role under President Obama.
Ivanka Trump has placed her assets under a family-run trust and pledged to recuse herself from potential conflicts of interest. But critics point out she still benefits from deals that she may play a role in promoting.