For years, International Marriage Services had to live with the stigma of being referred to as Mail Order Bride services. However, many consider the term "mail-order bride" derogatory and feel it demeans foreign women by comparing them to commodities for sale and falsely implying that (unlike local women), they exercise no judgment over the men they meet and would marry anyone from a relatively wealthy country. Even with the foreign women being labeled as mail order brides these companies have grown in popularity for the past two decades, largely due to the internet. The industry grew at such a fast pace it caught the attention of the US senator Maria Cantwell of Washington State, who in 2006 she pushed a bill through congress known as IMBRA or International Marriage Brokers Regulation Act. Although the intent of Senator Cantwell was clearly meant to put Foreign Bride Companies out of business by severely restricting how men communicate with foreign women. In the end, the companies flourished under the new regulations as these business quickly modified their business models.
Kenneth Agee, marketing Director for A Foreign Affair one of the largest so called Mail Order Bride Companies says, "We have always had to overcome this label. Since Trump announced his candidacy for president of the United States, the industry saw a significant increase in upscale business men looking for foreign brides. Once he became president, Trump made it the new status symbol of success to be married to an eastern European women. With First Lady Melanie Trump in the White House, opinions about foreign women have dramatically changed. Once men were scorned upon to be married to a women from Russian or the Ukraine, now is seen as prestigious. And we are seeing huge increase of men seeking foreign brides, our client base is up by more than 200% since Trump has taken office. This month alone we will be taking over 100 American men to the Ukraine, mostly very successful executives." Beside online matchmaking, the company arranges group tours for men that will travel to countries throughout the world. During these tours the men will meet hundreds of pre-screened women during what A Foreign Affair calls "Social Events" or what Kenneth calls speed dating on steroids.
Critics say these women are just used as arm trophies for business men in America. That men take advantage of the women's circumstances, both economical and geographical. Kenneth argues, "I would hardly say Melanie Trump has been taken advantage of or refer her to as a Mail Order Bride. Women choose just like the men choose, we are all adults and are responsible for our own choices. It is just that men in America have a good reputation for the way we treat women and how we take care of our families. This opens the door to the men to meet some of the most beautiful women in the world."
Trump is not the only high profile person to marry a foreign women, Jeb Bush met his wife in Mexico. Rupert Murdoch former CEO of Fox News married Wendi Deng from China, and the list goes on.
If Trump accomplishes nothing else during his presidency he has clearly helped one Industry.