In Nixing Ivanka Trump’s China Trip, White House Avoids Reigniting Controversy Over Conflicts

Ivanka Trump
The Associated Press/ Jose Luis Magana

The White House canceled Ivanka Trump’s plans to travel with her father, President Donald Trump, to China.

The official reason for the cancellation is so that she can remain behind to “ensure that the Administration is full steam ahead on tax reform.” Another benefit for the administration will be that by staying behind, Trump will not draw as much attention to her own and her husband Jared Kushner’s business dealings in Asia.

For an administration that has faced numerous challenges in attempting to separate its members’ business interests from their official roles, Trump’s business ties to China and Japan have been an unwelcome lightning rod for controversy. In April, she and husband Jared Kushner sat next to the president of China and his wife at a dinner at her father’s Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago. That same day, the Chinese government gave her company approval for three new trademarks.

In June, Ivanka Trump’s company called off a deal with a Japanese apparel company after learning that it was backed by the Japanese government. The New York Times had reported months earlier that the companies were finalizing the agreement when Trump sat in on her father’s meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. Democrats on Capitol Hill said the deal raised concerns that  Trump could be using her public role to privately profit.

Ivanka Trump still owns the company through a trust. She has given its day-to-day management over to relatives outside of the administration, including brother-in-law Joshua Kushner.

Trump and her husband turned down an invitation to visit China in September that was expected to set the groundwork for the president’s visit in November. According to some reports, White House officials decided the couple would not be the appropriate team to lead contacts between China and the U.S.

The White House did not respond to a request to comment on Tuesday night.


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