The government may be shut down, but someone in Trump’s administration is still hard at work. CBS News reports that “White House Senior Adviser” Ivanka Trump has been quietly securing trademarks from the Chinese government in recent months.
Yes, the very same Chinese government that her father is in active trade negotiations with.
Specifically, CBS reports that in January alone, Ivanka’s company received preliminary approval for five trademarks, which include potential childcare centers, sunglasses, wedding dresses, brokerage, charitable fundraising, and art valuation services. That follows 18 trademarks granted in November for companies with ties to father and daughter Trump, and provisional approval granted in October for 16 trademarks for “Ivanka Trump Marks LLC.”
And for those of us who watched with glee the grand closing of Ivanka’s fashion brand in mid-2018, we should probably brace ourselves for its return to store shelves, since these new trademarks reportedly cover “Ivanka-branded fashion gear including sunglasses, handbags, shoes and jewelry, as well as beauty services and voting machines.”
Ivanka-branded voting machines, y’all.
Understandably, these preliminary approvals—now totaling 34, as the result of applications filed in 2016 and 2017—have rightfully raised concerns of potential conflicts of interest within the White House. While China claims to treat all applications equally, critics claim these new agreements could make Trump vulnerable to influence or pressure from a foreign government. (Unfathomable, I know.)
Nevertheless, if no formal objections are raised, Ivanka’s new trademarks could be finalized within the next 90 days, effectively clearing the way for a relaunch of her empire—and her father’s—when the Trump presidency ends.
On the bright side, perhaps all this preparation means Ivanka’s not expecting her father to remain in office past 2020. But unfortunately, it could also just mean she’s protecting her name and brand for the long haul, which is what her representatives claim. Ivanka’s Chinese legal team did not respond to CBS’s request for comment on the new developments.