Politics and business have always had an interesting relationship, to say the least. And now, with a "self-made" billionaire in the White House, all of those lines are getting even more blurry. And as news broke early Tuesday morning that Ivanka Trump's company brokered a deal after accepting her official White House position, many are wondering, what kind of deal did Ivanka Trump's company make with China? And why is the timing so important?
April 6, 2017, Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, sat down to a nice, family dinner at President Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Oh, and the President of China, Xi Jinping, and his wife were there too. That same day, Ivanka Trump's clothing and accessory company "won provisional approval from the Chinese government for three new trademarks, giving it monopoly rights to sell Ivanka brand jewelry, bags and spa services in the world's second-largest economy," according to The Associated Press.
So, what does this new deal entail? Basically, Ivanka's company now has even more authority to sell its products in China, and Ivanka therefore has even more potential to be making money while her father is in office.
Though there was ruckus earlier in the year as several notable retailers stopped carrying Ivanka's line in their stores — Nordstrom and TJMaxx among them — her company's sales have continued to rise since her father was inaugurated in January. This, mixed with Ivanka's new position in the White House presents a new kind of problem for the Trump presidency: How much can his children benefit from his presidency, and how much should they?
Ivanka's White House title, an unpaid adviser to her father, is also an unprecedented occurrence in the White House, and one that has already attracted much attention from critics who allege that Ivanka is coming close to breaking federal ethics laws, though technically she's doing nothing illegal as it currently stands.
Though she may not be getting a formal paycheck from the White House, with these new trademarks, Ivanka is certainly getting monetary benefits from her father's presidency, which is a problem in and of itself. It's obviously impossible to know whether or not Ivanka's presence at Mar-a-Lago while Jinping was there is the reason behind the trademarks, but it still doesn't look great.