Donald Trump appears to have had something of a rough ride since his inauguration as US president. Complaints about the property tycoon-turned politician seem to have a point in some cases, but the concerns expressed about his daughter, who has recently been hired as a White House employee, might perhaps be a little excessive.
Ivanka Trump has been in the spotlight in recent days after it emerged that her retail brand reportedly gained three provisional trademarks in China the day her father met Chinese President Xi Jinping at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
The coincidence appears to have been given more prominence by critics than the much larger issue of trade between the world's two top economies, with the aim of hyping a conflict of interest that could tarnish the image of both the US president's family and the US' largest trading partner.
At least five trademarks for Ivanka Trump Marks LLC have been granted preliminary approval in China since Donald Trump came to power, in addition to 16 registered trademarks in China and over 30 pending applications, according to a report by The Associated Press on Tuesday. The report fueled ethics concerns about the first family of the US.
However the first daughter has already distanced herself from her clothing, jewelry and accessories brand, even though she still owns the business. Also, the fact that her self-named brand had already secured 16 trademarks, according to the AP report, before her father was sworn in as the US president, should ease the concerns.
Ivanka Trump's business epitomizes US trade with China, in that it benefits consumers in both countries. Her investment in China makes it possible for a variety of mid-market collections to be available in the US market, to the benefit of China's manufacturing businesses as well as US consumers looking for affordable yet alluring fashion items.
As for nagging concerns over growing animosity in China toward foreign businesses, as the American Chamber of Commerce in China mentioned in a recent report, it is advised that foreign businesses need to reposition themselves in China's market where a level playing field is being built and foreign brands' triumph over domestic Chinese brands is no longer taken for granted.
Meanwhile, a blind eye should not be turned to investment restrictions faced by Chinese businesses in the US market.
It could be that the mix of China-related topics and the controversial first family of the US is what is attracting so much attention, but nothing should stand in the way of fostering closer ties between China and the US, especially at a time when the global economy appears to be increasingly plagued by uncertainties.
The author is a reporter with the Global Times. firstname.lastname@example.org