Ivanka Trump’s shuttered fashion brand received preliminary approval on five trademarks in China this month while the U.S. and China continue to undergo tense trade negotiations.
The trademark applications were filed in 2016 and 2017, according to the Associated Press. One trademark for brokerage, charitable fundraising, and art valuation services was approved on Jan. 6, and four others—covering child care centers, sunglasses, and wedding dresses, and more—gained approval Sunday. Pending any objections, the trademarks will be finalized in 90 days.
Trump removed herself from the company when she entered the White House as her father’s adviser in 2017, but was forced to close the brand in June 2018 due to declining sales and continuing questions of conflicts of interest.
Despite the closure, Trump received 16 new trademarks from China’s Trademark Office in October, bringing the total number approved by China last year to 34, AP reports. Since many of these will last as late as 2028, Trump could benefit from the approvals if she resumes her business after leaving the White House.
“The public will continue to have to ask whether President Trump has made foreign policy decisions in the interest of his and his family’s businesses,” wrote Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a government watchdog group, in November.
Trump’s representatives state that the trademarks are needed to protect her brand from copycats, a common practice in China, the AP reports.