China signs off on new Ivanka Trump trademarks
China approved 13 new Ivanka Trump trademarks in recent months, according to records reviewed by The Associated Press, amid increased scrutiny on the business ties between President Trump and Beijing.
China on Sunday signed off on the 13th trademark for Ivanka Trump’s company in three months, the news service reported. China has also given the company provisional approval for another eight trademarks during the same period of time, it added.
Records viewed by the AP show that Ivanka Trump currently has at least 25 trademarks awaiting approval in China, while 36 are currently in place and eight have been granted provisional approval.
Ivanka Trump placed her business assets in a family-run trust when she joined the White House last year. However, the AP noted that she still profits from the company.
“More conflicts of interest and more potential for using the White House for self-enrichment,” Noah Bookbinder, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said in a tweet about the trademarks.
From @CREWcrew‘s Caroline Zhang: Ivanka Trump’s business has received six additional valuable trademarks from China. More conflicts of interest and more potential for using the White House for self-enrichment. https://t.co/ws15NfEvLj
— Noah Bookbinder (@NoahBookbinder) May 25, 2018
The group has been highly critical of the Trump administration and is suing President Trump for allegedly violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution.
President Trump handed over control of his business to his sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr. and placed the assets in a trust when he took office, but declined to follow the urging of ethics experts to sell the assets and place the profits in a blind trust.
The trademarks come amid increased scrutiny for President Trump and his ties to China. The president shocked lawmakers when he announced earlier this month that he would help Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE, which had been banned by the Commerce Department from buying tech components for violating U.S. sanctions on North Korea and Iran.
President Trump appeared to confirm a deal to save the company late Friday.
However, lawmakers have largely opposed such a deal. The House voted on Thursday to cut off ZTE from U.S. business dealings, and the Senate Banking Committee has also overwhelmingly approved an amendment to block Trump from helping the company.
And more than 60 Democratic lawmakers signed a letter demanding an ethics probe into President Trump and his connections to China after it was reported that a Trump Organization project received $500 million in loans from the Chinese government days before the president’s announcement on ZTE.