In August, the Trump Administration issued a U.S. government notice to Hong Kong that products made within the region are required to be labelled as “Made in China”. The rule goes into effect November 9 with major pushback from the region’s officials.
With the new law in effect, Hong Kong manufacturers will be subjected to the same trade war tariffs issued against mainland China. The administration noted that The move is “due to the determination that Hong Kong is no longer sufficiently autonomous to justify differential treatment in relation to China”.
“This law gives my administration powerful new tools to hold responsible the individuals and the entities involved in extinguishing Hong Kong’s freedom,” Trump said at the time.
“We’ve all watched what happened. Not a good situation. Their freedom has been taken away. Their rights have been taken away. And with it goes Hong Kong, in my opinion, because it will no longer be able to compete with free markets,” the president added.
Hong Kong Reacts
This month, at a meeting of the World Trade Organization’s General Council, Hong Kong formally denounced the new regulation. This comes after their officials wrote an official complaint in September to the Trump administration demanding they drop the regulations.
Laurie Lo, Hong Kong’s WTO representative, formally requested the US drop the new labeling requirement.
“Hong Kong, China expresses our strong objection to the revised origin marking requirement imposed by the US,” Lo said in the statement. “We have already written to request the US to withdraw such measure with immediate effect and invite the US for bilateral discussions with a view to resolving the matter in our mutual interests. Regrettably, the US has so far not withdrawn the measure.”
He added that if the US fails to “address our concerns over its revised origin marking requirement, Hong Kong, China is determined to defend its legitimate rights and interests in accordance with the dispute settlement procedure under the WTO”.
The law was originally set to go into effect in September, but various pushback has delayed the regulations until November 9.