In April of 2017, Ivanka Trump's company won provisional approval from the Chinese government that granted her three new trademarks, which gives her the monopoly rights to sell her line of jewelry, handbags, and spa services branded under her name.
That same night, her and her husband, Jared Kushner, were seated next to the president of China and his wife during a steak dinner in Mar-a-Lago.
What happened now:
One man has been arrested and two others have gone missing after investigating working conditions in Chinese companies that produce Ivanka Trump branded shoes.
These three men were working with China Labor Watch, a nonprofit based in New York, which allegedly was going to release a report that accused the company of exploiting their workers by giving them low pay and excessively using overtime.
According to sources, the first man, Hua Haifeng, was arrested and charged with illegal surveillance. The whereabouts of the other two men are unknown right now, according to China Labor Watch, since they lost contact with the men last weekend.
From The Hill:
The three men were investigating Ganzhou Huajian International Shoe City Co.’s factory in Jiangxi province in southeast China. Heng had been working undercover at the factory since April, China Labor Watch Director Li Qiang said. The parent company is known as Huajian Group.
The Huajian Group told the AP that it makes 10,000 to 20,000 pairs of shoes for the first daughter's brand each year. The Ivanka Trump brand reportedly produces 20 million pairs of shoes annually.
According to the report, the three men had already documented excessive overtime and a below-minimum-wage base salary at the Chinese company.
In a statement, the Democratic National Committee called for Trump and the Trump administration to “confront China on its human rights abuses,” in response to the report.
“We deeply hope that these detained or missing human rights workers are safe and can be reunited with their families as soon as possible,” DNC deputy communications director Adrienne Watson said in a statement. “For years, Ivanka Trump has ignored public reports of awful labor conditions at a factory that makes her shoes. Now, she must decide whether she can ignore the Chinese government’s apparent attempt to silence an investigation into those worker abuses.”
Apparently, these kinds of disappearances are prevalent.
“This is nothing new,” Keegan Elmer, a researcher for Hong Kong-based China Labour Bulletin, says of the latest detentions. “We constantly find flagrant labor rights violations, and workers working hard to change their conditions, and it's all the more disheartening to see global brands staying quiet when the police step in.”
Last year four protesters were convicted of “gathering a crowd to disturb public order” while trying to mediate a labor dispute at a shoe factory that produces shoes for large brands like Coach, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, and others. One of those men is still incarcerated.
“These international brands are generally hands off when it comes to these cases,” adds Keegan. “They are in good company in a very bad way.”
H/T: The Hill