President Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump has got a thumbs up from China for at least five new trademarks, which raised new concerns about potential conflict of interest of the Trumps.
The timing seems very odd with the approval coming merely days after President Trump announced that he was working on a very controversial deal to drop the United States’ restrictions against ZTE, a China’s massive mobile phone manufacturer.
Trump announced on Friday about a deal he reached with ZTE and that he is rolling back on all the restrictions in exchange for security guarantees. This made Democrats quite angry, and not only that, even people from his own party were angry at the move of lifting sanctions from ZTE. ZTE was in violation of United States sanctions on Iran and North Korea and repeatedly deceived the United State officials.
Regardless of the fact that the trademark applications were given more than a year ago, their approval five days after the controversial deal of Trump has raised eyebrows. The trademarks will allow her daughter the exclusive rights to market a variety of products in the Chinese market and it goes without saying that she will earn millions of dollars in profit.
This agreement was not well received by many; it even drew immediate fire on Capitol Hill. Under the agreement, the Chinese company will hire American compliance officers and pay a huge fine. The fine will be other than the huge sum of $1 billion which ZTE has already paid for violations of the restrictions instituted by the United States. In return of this, the US will lift a 7-year ban on the company which will allow ZTE to buy American components which are essential for competing in the smartphone market. The ban was imposed last month and it was enough to end ZTE’s business globally for good.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, D.C., a non-profit, has said the trademark deal raises more concerns about the President’s family’s international businesses and potential conflicts of interest.
CREW said in a statement: ‘As a White House adviser, Ivanka has represented the United States at multiple diplomatic events despite the potential conflicts her business interests present.’
‘This is a law enforcement action being handled by Commerce,’ said Lindsay Walters, the deputy White House press secretary. ‘We are making sure ZTE is held accountable for violating U.S. sanctions, pays a big price and that we are protecting our security infrastructure and U.S. jobs.’
The administration was warned previously by the lawmakers to not go easy on the company for violating the sanction, which was placed for stopping Iran and North Korea from pursuing their nuclear ambitions.
‘If the administration goes through with this reported deal, President Trump would be helping make China great again,’ said Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York.
Schumer added: ‘Both parties in Congress should come together to stop this deal in its tracks.’
‘ZTE presents a national security threat to the United States — and nothing in this reported deal addresses that fundamental fact,’ said Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. ‘If President Trump won’t put our security before Chinese jobs, Congress will act on a bipartisan basis to stop him.’
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida tweeted: ‘It is a great deal … for #ZTE & China … Many hoped this time would be different.’
Congress, Rubio said, ‘will need to act.’
Trump reacted to the criticism, he tweeted: ‘I closed it down then let it reopen with high-level security guarantees, change of management and board, must purchase U.S. parts and pay a $1.3 Billion fine.’