Ivanka Trump's Corrupt Licensing Deal With the Japanese Government Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg
Ivanka Trump's company is in the process of signing a licensing deal for her clothing line in Japan and was negotiating terms of the deal at the time of her face-to-face meeting with the Prime Minister, ShinzÅ Abe and the President-elect Trump on November 8. While news reporters were forbidden from attending the meeting, a widely circulated photo taken during the conference became instantly controversial.
"To be in official meetings with foreign leaders does come a little bit too close to the possibility of people seeing her as advancing her own business interests through the mechanism, through the vehicle of the American Presidency," Michael O'Hanlon, a Senior Fellow, Brookings Foreign Policy Program explained on CNN Money.
It took weeks for media to make the connection between Ivanka's Japan deal and her presence in the meeting.
"Ivanka was finalizing Japanese business deal at time of Trump, Abe meeting," the Hill reported on December 4. At the time, a private viewing of Ivanka Trump products took place in Tokyo as Japanese apparel giant Sanei International neared a deal with Ms. Trump.
"The largest shareholder of Sanei’s parent company is the Development Bank of Japan, which is wholly owned by the Japanese government," The New York Times reported.
Looking back, Ivanka Trump's presence at the President-elect's meeting was hardly coincidental. But not even Young Turks host Cenk Uygur realized this mid-November.
"You know when I saw her in that meeting, I was still, at that incredibly late date, naive," Uygur admitted. "I'm like, 'I guess she wanted to sit in on a meeting.' I'm better than that, I should have seen that better."
The anti-Ivanka Trump movement was launched less than a month before the election. And even in July, Forbes reported that Ivanka's retail collaborations appeared to be "thriving. Yet, as the Boycott Ivanka movement continues nationwide, it's worth noting that Ms. Trump's manufacturer, G-III Apparel Group, has remained silent.
G-III Apparel Group, Ltd. (“G-III") was founded in 1956 by a Holocaust survivor named Aron Goldfarb, who established his own outerwear company soon after immigrating to New York City. The company entered into a licensing agreement with Ivanka Trump nearly four years ago on December 12, 2012.
“We are very excited to partner with Ivanka Trump on this inspiring collection of women’s apparel," Morris Goldfarb, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of G-III announced. "The Ivanka Trump brand will capture the next generation of young, confident and sophisticated women as they make their mark on the world.”
Ivanka Trump wore a pink sheath dress from her own collection at the 2016 Republican National Convention; A statement heralded by Trump supporters due to its affordability. But ironically, the Ivanka Trump collection would have a much higher price tag if manufactured in the United States.
"Ivanka Trump’s $100 million apparel line is sewn in Asian countries under a licensing agreement with G-III Apparel Group Inc., which has expanded from making coats in New York’s Garment District to become a manufacturer of global scope," Bloomberg Retail analyst Lindsey Rupp reported.
"That method of selling $140 sheath dresses and $80 sweaters could mean political embarrassment for her father, who has threatened a trade war against China, the world’s second-largest economy," Rupp added.