MAY 29, 2018
Ivanka Trump has won several new trademarks for her products in China, according to official documents.
The products registered by Ivanka Trump Marks LLC reportedly include bathmats, textiles and baby blankets.
The timing has led to allegations of potential conflicts of interest within the Trump family.
The trademarks were granted a week before her father, President Donald Trump, made a U-turn on a US export ban against China’s technology firm ZTE.
However legal experts told the BBC the time taken to approve the trademarks was broadly in line with the average.
The approvals came at a period of heightened trade tensions between the US and China. They are trying to avert an outright trade war after imposing tariffs on each others’ goods in recent months.
The two sides have also been at odds after the US banned American companies from selling parts to ZTE after it admitted making illegal shipments to Iran and North Korea.
Mr Trump handed ZTE a reprieve last week saying the US was working on a “larger trade deal” with China.
While it did not allege any wrongdoing, Campaign group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (Crew) in Washington said it “isn’t the first time that Ivanka’s and President Trump’s business connections to China have raised potential ethics issues”.
Crew said Ms. Ivanka, who is an adviser to her father, had already been granted more than a dozen trademarks in China and has several pending applications.
One lawyer told the BBC the average time for trademarks to be granted in China was 12-18 months. The applications were made in March last year.
“But it sits within the new targets set by Chinese Trademark Office,” said Jill Ge, senior associate in Intellectual Property at Clifford Chance in Shanghai.
Mr. Trump’s close links with his family’s businesses have drawn criticism since he became president in 2016, but he always denied any conflict of interest.
He came under fire last year after he posted a tweet attacking a clothing retailer which had dropped a fashion line owned by Ivanka.