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Ivanka Trump Wades Into Goya Foods Row, Faces Accusation Of Ethics Breach

TOPLINE

 Ivanka Trump was blasted on Tuesday for promoting a can of Black beans from Goya Foods, the U.S.’ largest Hispanic-owned food company, in an apparent bid to boost the company’s fortunes after its CEO praised Trump and triggered a boycott of the brand.

KEY FACTS

Trump, senior adviser to her father, tweeted a picture of herself holding up a can of the beans alongside the caption: “If it’s Goya, it has to be good. Si es Goya, tiene que ser bueno.”

Ivanka’s post appears to fall foul of the ethical standards set for those working in the executive branch.

According to that law, “An employee shall not use or permit the use of his Government position or title or any authority associated with his public office to endorse any product, service or enterprise.”

Meanwhile, Ivanka’s tweet follows calls to boycott Goya by some consumers critical of CEO Robert Unanue’s endorsement of the President, particularly among the Latinx community.

In a visit to the White House last week, Unanue called Trump an “incredible builder” and said the U.S. was “blessed” to have a leader like him.

He was blasted by congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, among others, who tweeted in response: “Oh look, it’s the sound of me Googling “how to make your own Adobo.”

Goya has become an unlikely political football in a debate about freedom of speech between conservative and liberal commentators.

Chief critic

Conservative communications strategist Liz Mair tweeted: “You’re about to get dinged for a violation of ethics rules that apply to you as a White House staffer.”

Other critics on social media questioned whether the billionaire’s daughter was genuinely a fan of the brand’s canned black beans, and why a White House official was promoting a business.

Key background

Ivanka is not the first member of the Trump administration accused of breaching ethics codes in this way. Three years ago, Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway promoted Ivanka Trump’s clothing line amid tanking sales that prompted retailers to drop it. She told Fox and Friends at the time: “This is just a wonderful line. I own some of it. I fully—I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.” She was subsequently “counseled” by the White House, according to then-press secretary Sean Spicer.

Further reading

By Praising Trump, Goya President Angers His Core Latino Market (New York Times)

How Goya Became One Of America’s Fastest-Growing Food Companies (Forbes)

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