The arrest and disappearance of three labor activists investigating a Chinese company that produces Ivanka Trump shoes in China prompted a call for her brand to stop working with the supplier and raised questions about whether the first family's commercial interests would muddy U.S. leadership on human rights.
"Ivanka's brand should immediately cease its work with this supplier, and the Trump administration should reverse its current course and confront China on its human rights abuses," Adrienne Watson, spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, said in a Wednesday email. Ivanka Trump must decide, she added, "whether she can ignore the Chinese government's apparent attempt to silence an investigation into those worker abuses."
Amnesty International called Wednesday for the release of China Labor Watch investigator Hua Haifeng, as well as his two colleagues, who are feared to have been detained.
China Labor Watch's investigation also had an unusual target: a brand owned by the daughter of the president of the United States.
Ivanka Trump's lifestyle brand imports most of its merchandise from China, trade data show. She and her father both have extensive trademark portfolios in China, though neither has managed to build up a large retail or real estate presence here. The sister of Jared Kushner, a Trump adviser and husband of Ivanka, traveled to China this past month to court investment from Chinese families for a real estate project in New Jersey.
"The eagerness of members of the family to do business in China while airbrushing very troubling human rights and labor rights records of the country is troubling," said Nicholas Bequelin, East Asia director for Amnesty International.
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