By Claire Zillman
March 27, 2017

It seems German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to the White House earlier this month produced more than just a few painfully awkward moments with President Donald Trump. Merkel met with Ivanka Trump during the trip and now the first daughter is reportedly planning to visit Germany in late April.

Merkel sat down with President Trump for the first time on March 17 to discuss trade, immigration, climate change, foreign policy, and defense. In the end, the summit will be remembered for an uncomfortable photo-op when Trump did not respond to Merkel’s suggestion for a handshake. Another cringe-worthy exchange came when Trump, who’s made unsubstantiated claims that President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower, joked about his predecessor also spying on the German leader.

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During her time in Washington, Merkel also met with Ivanka Trump. At the request of German officials, Ivanka Trump helped arrange a meeting between American and German business leaders to discuss vocational training. In Germany, young people can enroll in a dual vocational training program that gives them hands-on experience at a company alongside theoretical lessons at an education center. The Associated Press reports that Trump is now planning a trip to Berlin in April where she’s expected to attend the W20 summit, a women-focused effort within the Group of 20 countries, and possibly tour successful apprenticeship programs.

The sit-down Ivanka Trump organized for Merkel is similar to the one she planned for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his time in Washington. In February, the first daughter, her father, and Trudeau met with CEOs for a roundtable discussion to launch a bilateral council for advancing women business leaders and female entrepreneurs.

Since President Trump won office, his eldest daughter has focused on job training in addition to topics connected to women’s economic opportunities. Ivanka Trump is reportedly a strong influence in the Trump administration, despite having no official role. She seemed to gain even more power last week when a White House official confirmed she’d get her own office in the West Wing, which comes with a security clearance for classified information.

Ivanka Trump stepped down from the Trump Organization and her clothing brand in January, and, at the time, said her only plans were to settle her children in Washington and find the family a new home. Her husband Jared Kushner, took a job as senior advisor to the president, and is reportedly heading a new office aimed at overhauling the federal bureaucracy. President Trump is expected to unveil that effort on Monday.

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