Russia is not the only country with which the Trump family may have improper, unethical and potentially illegal business ties. There is now strong circumstantial evidence that Trump and his family have closer ties to Beijing than Moscow.
Recent news stories have exposed a troubling pattern of questionable Trump business dealings in China. Some evidence of conflicts of interest involving Trump, his children and China includes:
- The Chinese government granted Ivanka Trump’s company; Trump Marks LLC, four lucrative trademarks on April 7, The Guardian reported. That was the same day her father was meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mir-a-Lago. Trump Marks has at least 32 other trademark applications before the Chinese government.
- Shortly after he won the Presidential election, Donald J. Trump was granted trademark protection for his name in the Chinese construction industry, The Guardian reported. Trump had been fighting for that protection for over 10 years with no success in Chinese courts until he was elected President.
- The Chinese government granted Trump himself 38 trademarks on February 27, 2017, The Guardian reported. The trademarks granted include ones for a bodyguard service, an escort service, hotels and an insurance company.
- The first major piece of legislation that Trump signed as President extended the EB-5 visa program that allows American companies to give US visa to wealthy foreign investors, The New York Times reported. A major potential beneficiary of that program would be the family of Jared Kushner; Ivanka’s husband.
- In May, Jared’s sister Nicole Meyer staged what The New York Times called a “cross-country roadshow” in China to raise $150 million for a development in New Jersey. News reports indicate that the events were cosponsored by an immigration agency called Qiaowai and Meyer herself was present when investors were promised Visas. Reporters were kept out of the event but the Kushner Companies eventually pulled out of the roadshow after media criticism.
- President Trump has done an about face on China policy, CNN Politics reported. During last year’s campaign he accused China of manipulating its currency in attempt to hurt U.S. exports. "They're not currency manipulators," Trump told The Wall Street Journal.
- Jared Kushner; who is described as Trump’s closest advisor, benefits from a $600 million stake in the Kushner Companies, The New York Times reported.
- “Ivanka has so many China ties and conflicts, yet she and Jared appear deeply involved in China contacts and policy,” Norman Eisen, President Obama’s Chief ethics lawyer told The Associated Press. “For their own sake, and the country’s, Ivanka and Jared should consider stepping away from China matters.”
- A new trade deal that Trump’s Commerce Department reached on May 11, 2017 might actually increase America’s trade deficit with China, Forbes writer Gordon G. Chang noted. The deal won’t increase US exports to China, but it may give Chinese more access to American markets.
- “Therefore, don’t be surprised when Americans begin eating chicken from the world’s No. 1 source of avian flu and start getting cheap credit cards—and cheap credit—from Chinese banks,” Chang wrote.
- Trump’s new found friend and advisor Elon Musk is also benefiting from China. Tencent Holdings Limited a technology company with close connections to the Chinese government bought 5% of his money-losing car company Tesla Motors for around $2 billion, Market Mad House reported.
The connections between the Trumps and their associates and China need to be investigated now. Donald, Ivanka, Jared Kushner and all their relatives and associates need to be held accountable for their shady dealings with China.
The best way to do that would be with a thorough Congressional investigation of the Trump and Kushner families and all their businesses. That will never happen with career Republican politicians like U.S. Representative Peter Roskam (R-Illinois) in control of Congress.
The best way to hold Trump, Kushner and Ivanka accountable is to elect people like Democrat Austin Songer to Congress. Songer is challenging Roskam in the Sixth District of Illinois. Unlike Trump and Roskam, Songer believes that all trade agreements must support good American jobs, raise wages and enhance U.S. national security.
He also thinks that trade enforcement tools must be used to hold China and other trading partners accountable and stop them from manipulating currencies to gain a competitive advantage. That will never happen with people like Peter Roskam in Congress and the Trumps in the White House.