Ivanka Trump has been granted five trademarks from China as her father’s administration continues to negotiate with the Asian powerhouse over trade and ethics experts raise concerns about the first family’s business dealings.
Trademarks, including ones for wedding dresses, sunglasses and child care centers, were approved Sunday, according to an Associated Press report. An additional trademark regarding brokerage, charitable fundraising and art valuation services was also approved earlier this month.
The applications were made in 2016 and 2017 and will be made official if there are no objections in 90 days.
Trump, a senior white House adviser, shut down her namesake clothing brand in July. In doing so, she became the first Trump family member to go further than any others in keeping politics separate from business ventures. Her brothers, for example, have remained active in both politics and business.
Trump’s representatives say trademark applications are a routine business practice to safeguard her name from copycats trying to capitalize on it, the AP reported.
Trump’s expanding intellectual property holdings have long raised ethical concerns, particularly in China, where the courts and bureaucracy tend to reflect the will of the ruling Communist Party.
Critics argue that by asking a foreign government for valuable intellectual property rights, White House officials could open themselves to pressure in government negotiations. There is also concern that the family’s global trademark portfolio would open the way for lucrative business opportunities once Donald Trump leaves office.
“The sheer number of foreign trademarks Ivanka Trump has gotten while working in the White House would be troubling enough, but the fact that she just got one for charitable fundraising when her father’s namesake foundation — which she served as a board member for and is closing in scandal following a New York Attorney General investigation outlining numerous legal violations — is especially troubling,” Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said in an email.
Companies apply for trademarks for a range of reasons. They can be signs of corporate ambition, but many also are filed defensively, particularly in China, where trademark squatting is rampant.
China has said it treats all trademark applications equally under the law.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.