Walter Shaub, the Obama-appointed former director of the Office of Government Ethics, tried to manufacture controversy surrounding President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, last week by suggesting that there was something potentially nefarious about China granting her a trademark for voting machines.
“China gave Ivanka Trump a trademark for voting machines while she was committing nepotism in the White House,” Shaub, who recently was a CNN contributor, wrote on Twitter. “America still waits for an explanation.”
China gave Ivanka Trump a trademark for voting machines while she was committing nepotism in the White House. America still waits for an explanation.
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) October 11, 2019
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) noted that Ivanka’s business applied for the trademarks in 2016 and that the trademarks covered a multitude of items, not just voting machines.
“The newest Chinese trademarks cover fashion items including handbags, shoes, wedding dresses, and jewelry. (Ivanka’s business has previously relied on a Chinese manufacturer to supply handbags, shoes, and clothing.) The trademarks also cover items including nursing homes, sausage casing, and voting machines,” CREW reported. “Ivanka’s business applied for these trademarks in 2016.”
A further review of the application that Ivanka’s business filed with the Chinese government shows that it was filed on March 8, 2016, which was months before then-presidential candidate Donald Trump even secured the GOP nomination for president.
Multiple sources that are highly connected in the Washington, D.C., political scene and who have extensive experience working in legal settings tell The Daily Wire that, while there are some people who genuinely have questions about the trademarks, Shaub is not one of them.
Rather, these sources allege that Shaub was being intentionally deceptive. They claim that he knows that trade infringement is so common in China that it is standard business practice for American businesses to trademark an entire batch of products, which in this case included the voting machines.
Even Snopes, a far-left fact-check website, reported, “Although Ivanka Trump’s now reportedly shut-down brand may hold a variety of trademarks in China, it’s unlikely she’ll be involved in manufacturing sausage casings or voting machines in the foreseeable future.”
Intellectual property theft, which includes trademarks, is a major problem in China as the communist nation has stolen massive amounts of intellectual property from the U.S. for decades, which has been something that the Trump administration has been addressing in its trade talks with China.
“IP theft — use of patents, trade secrets, trademarks, and copyrights without permission — may seem dry to many. But it represents big money. Intangible assets, which include IP, make up 80% of the value of S&P 500 companies, according to the Harvard Business Review,” Forbes reported. “IP theft may not seem the same as taking physical property, but it represents either a loss of opportunity or of competitive advantage that reduces the money a company could have made. The U.S. Trade Representative has estimated the annual loss to China at between $225 billion and $600 billion, according to CNN.”
“There are different ways Chinese companies reportedly obtain U.S. IP. Corporate espionage and cyberattacks are two, according to Axios,” Forbes added. “But so is forced technology transfers, in which the Chinese government compels companies investing in China to provide IP details and licenses.”