Ivanka Trump cut a stylish figure in a ladylike dress for White House Sports and Fitness Day on Wednesday — just one day after she bailed on a press call over a question about her business trademarks being approved by the Chinese government.
The 36-year-old first daughter donned $2,200 black Gucci dress featuring red and navy blue trim and gold buttons to participate in the youth sports event held on the South Lawn this afternoon.
Although her figure-hugging outfit was more sleek than sporty, Ivanka ditched her usual heels and opted for a sensible pair of black Mary Jane flats.
First daughter duties: Ivanka Trump, 36, attended the White House Sports and Fitness Day held on the South Lawn on Wednesday afternoon
Not exactly sporty: The first daughter donned a $2,200 black Gucci dress and black Mary Jane flats
Added touches: Ivanka’s black dress featuring red and navy blue trim and gold buttons
Ivanka wore her long blond hair straight and loose around her shoulders, and she topped off her look with a pair of pearl stud earrings and a simple white gold band worn on her right hand. She was also seen sporting a red string tied around her left wrist.
Although she hasn’t spoken about the purpose of the string, which she has been wearing since last summer, it does bear a resemblance to the type of red string that Kabbalah practitioners wear to ward off the ‘evil eye.’
President Donald Trump welcomed both young athletes and professional ones to the White House on Wednesday to take part in the youth sports event.
He gave Ivanka a big hug when he arrived to speak, and she stood on stage with the other participants while he gave his remarks.
‘Work hard, get in the game, play to win and most of all, have a good time,’ he told the youngsters.
The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition is looking to reverse the declining participation in youth sports while making them more accessible to economically disadvantaged students.
Perfect pair: Ivanka’s dress matched her father’s red and blue tie
Daddy’s girl: President Donald Trump gave his daughter a big hug when he took the stage
Advocating for sports: Ivanka stood behind her father while he gave his remark at the event
The long-established group is headed by former New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera, retired beach volleyball Olympian Misty May-Treanor, and ex-NFL running back Herschel Walker.
After addressing participants, Trump joined athletes at stations that included flag football, baseball, volleyball, golf, soccer, and track and field.
Ivanka stood alongside Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar as she clapped for a group of kids who were racing each other at one of the stations.
She had a bright smile on her face as she cheered them on, and even though she was wearing a dress, she didn’t shy away from joining in.
At one point, Ivanka was photographed throwing a football to NFL star Herschel Walker during the day’s festivities.
Other participants at the White House event included The Incredible Hulk actor Lou Ferrigno, who befriended Trump while appearing on Celebrity Apprentice; former New York Yankees baseball player Johnny Damon; and professional golfer Natalie Gulbis.
Lesson: NFL star Herschel Walker taught Ivanka how to toss a football on Wednesday
Making it work: Ivanka didn’t let her ladylike dress hold her back from participating at the event
Looking good: The White House senior adviser had a bright smile on her face while practicing her throw
Trump issued an executive order in February refocusing the council on youth sports as opposed to President Barack Obama’s emphasis on fitness and healthy eating. Trump, who played high school sports and is a competitive golfer, has tried to work with public and private groups to address declining participation in youth sports.
Ivanka told reporters in a conference call before the event that sports participation lags disproportionately among young girls and children who live in economically distressed areas. Many high schools have ‘pay to play’ policies requiring students to pay a fee to join a school sports team, making it difficult for families to afford after-school sports.
‘We must break down barriers to youth sports participation and empower each child to reach his or her full potential through sport and play,’ she said, noting that by the time girls reach age 14, they drop out of athletics at two times the rate of boys.
However, Ivanka yanked herself out of the lineup on the press call after a reporter threw her a curve ball and tried to ask about the 13 trademarks for her business that got approval from the Chinese government.
The trademarks have been a source of growing attention — in part because a batch of approvals came in as her father vowed to eliminate sanctions that were crippling Chinese phone manufacturer ZTE.
It certainly wasn’t the topic the White House wished to focus on during a call about the White House Sports and Fitness Day.
Having a blast: The mother-of-three seemed to be enjoying the White House event
Giving it her all: Ivanka used all her might while lobbing the ball to Herschel Walker
Celebration: Ivanka gave him a high five after he showed her how to throw the ball
After a reporter asked about the trademarks — on a day when newly stoked trade tensions sent financial markets into a tailspin — an aide redirected the questioner to the press office, according to a New York Times account of the embargoed call.
Not long afterward, an aide said the president’s daughter was no longer available and had to jump off the call to go to another meeting.
A senior administration official reiterated to the DailyMail.com that the call was under embargo and declined to provide further explanation.
Ivanka Trump’s brand has won a series of Chinese government trademark approvals even as President Trump vowed to protect Chinese jobs and resurrect ZTE, adding to questions about conflicts of interest at the White House.
The president’s daughter, who maintains her ownership of a brand that includes clothes, make-up, and other products, won approval for a large back of trademark applications May 7.
The approvals came just days before President Trump announced he was working on a deal to lift U.S. business barriers against Chinese firm ZTE in order to save Chinese jobs.
Goal: The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition is looking to reverse the declining participation in youth sports while making them more accessible
Lots to see: President Trump and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar walked around with Ivanka at the event
Making the rounds: Trump joined athletes at stations that included flag football, baseball, volleyball, golf, soccer, and track and field
The latest trademark approval, on Sunday, also came just days after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced a trade war with China was ‘on hold.’
But trade tensions have gone up and down. On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced it was going forward with 25 per cent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods.
The approvals also coincide with the Chinese government agreeing to loans totaling $500 million for a an Indonesia development project that includes a Trump Organization 18-hole golf course and luxury hotel.
The confluence of events surrounding the complex trade relationship with China come after Trump campaign arguing the nation was being ‘ripped off’ for years.
Although the trademark applications were submitted more than a year ago, they were all approved on May 7 — then five days later Trump said he was working on a deal to lift remove U.S. business barriers against ZTE in order to save Chinese jobs.
The timing raised concerns, coming just days after President Trump announced he was working on a controversial deal to drop U.S. prohibitions against China cellphone manufacturer ZTE.
All smiles: Ivanka clapped and cheered on the youngsters during a race
No ponytail here: Ivanka wore her long blonde hair straight and loose around her shoulders
Accessories: The first daughter topped off her outfit with a pair of pearl earrings
‘Some countries will no doubt see this as a way to curry favor with President Trump,’ wrote Fred Wertheimer, the president of Democracy 21, and Norm Eisen, of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
‘Other countries may see the business requests made by his daughter’s company as requests they cannot refuse,’ they added.
President Trump said on Friday he had reached a deal to keep Chinese telecom giant ZTE running, rolling back penalties in exchange for security guarantees.
The move infuriated Democrats and some in his own party after the company violated US sanctions on Iran and North Korea and repeatedly lied to U.S. government officials.
But now, daughter Ivanka’s operations will give her the exclusive rights to market a variety of products in China that will likely amount to millions of dollars in profits.
She’s off: On Tuesday, Ivanka (pictured in file photo) bailed on a White House press call after a reporter asked her about her 13 business trademarks approved by the Chinese government
Timing: China has approved new trademarks for Ivanka Trump’s business just days after Trump’s deal to drop U.S. prohibitions against cellphone manufacturer ZTE
Under the agreement, ZTE would oust its management team, hire American compliance officers and pay a fine.
The fine would come on top of the roughly $1 billion ZTE has already paid for selling equipment to North Korea and Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions.
In return, the Commerce Department would lift a seven-year ban on ZTE’s purchase of components that the Chinese firm depends on from U.S. companies.
‘As a White House adviser, Ivanka has represented the United States at multiple diplomatic events despite the potential conflicts her business interests present,’ CREW said in a statement. ‘Although Ivanka has stepped down from her role at her business and has placed it in a trust, she continues to receive profits from the business.’
On Sunday, China granted the first daughter’s company final approval for its 13th trademark in the last three months, trademark office records show. Over the same period, the Chinese government has granted Ivanka’s company provisional approval for another eight trademarks, which can be finalized if no objections are raised during a three-month comment period.
Taken together, the trademarks could allow her brand to market a lifetime’s worth of products in China, from baby blankets to coffins, and a host of things in between, including perfume, make-up, bowls, mirrors, furniture, books, coffee, chocolate and honey. Ivanka stepped back from management of her brand and placed its assets in a family-run trust, but she continues to profit from the business.
Ethical concerns: The trademarks grant Ivanka Trump operations exclusive rights to market a variety of products in China that will likely amount to millions of dollars in profits
Comments: President Trump said on Friday he had reached a deal to keep Chinese telecoms giant ZTE running, rolling back penalties in exchange for security guarantees
‘Ivanka Trump’s refusal to divest from her business is especially troubling as the Ivanka brand continues to expand its business in foreign countries,’ Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said in an email Monday.
‘It raises significant questions about corruption, as it invites the possibility that she could be benefiting financially from her position and her father’s presidency or that she could be influenced in her policy work by countries’ treatment of her business.
As Ivanka and her father have built their global brands, largely through licensing deals, they have pursued trademarks in dozens of countries.
Those global trademarks have drawn the attention of ethics lawyers because they are granted by foreign governments and can confer enormous value. Concerns about political influence have been especially sharp in China, where the courts and bureaucracy are designed to reflect the will of the ruling Communist Party.
Chinese officials have emphasized that all trademark applications are handled in accordance with the law.
More approvals are likely to come. Online records from China’s trademark office indicate that Ivanka’s company last applied for trademarks — 17 of them — on March 28, 2017, the day before she took on a formal role at the White House. Those records on Monday showed at least 25 Ivanka Trump trademarks pending review, 36 active marks and eight with provisional approval.
Growing: China has approved 13 Ivanka Trump trademarks in the last three months and granted provisional approval for eight more
Raising questions: The trademark approvals raise new concerns about potential Trump family conflicts of interest
Getting started: Computer screen shows the Ivanka Trump logo (right) and the website of the Chinese Trademark Office in Beijing, China
The World Intellectual Property Organization’s global brand database also shows that her company, Ivanka Trump Marks LLC, won three trademarks in the Philippines after her father took office. Two of them that cover clothing, including lingerie and baby clothes, were filed on Feb. 8, 2017 and registered in June and November. The third, filed on March 1, 2017, covers clothing and footwear and was registered in July.
Companies register for trademarks for a variety of reasons. They can be a sign of corporate ambition, but in many countries, like China, where trademark squatting is rampant, companies also file defensively, to block copycats from grabbing legal rights to a brand’s name. Trademarks are classified by category and may include items that a company does not intend to market. Some trademark lawyers also advise clients to register trademarks for merchandise that is manufactured in China, even if it’s not sold there.
Ivanka Trump does not have a large retail presence in China, but customs records show that the bulk of her company’s U.S. imports are shipped from China.
The brand’s secretive Chinese supply chains have been the subject of some controversy. A year ago Monday, three men working for China Labor Watch, a New York-based non-profit group, were arrested while investigating labor abuses at Ivanka Trump suppliers in China. After thirty days in detention, they were released on bail, but continue to live under police surveillance.
Li Qiang, the group’s founder, said Monday that he hopes bail will be lifted soon and that the case will not go to trial.
Police in Ganzhou, the southeastern Chinese city where the men were detained, could not be reached for comment. The Chinese law firm that handles Ivanka Trump’s intellectual property in China also did not immediately respond to requests for comment.