UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Global Times

HK commerce secretary slams US move to label local goods 'Made in China'

Global Times

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/13 19:58:40

Hong Kong Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah on Thursday accused the US of violating WTO rules by deciding to label "Made in Hong Kong" goods as "Made in China" from September 25, saying Hong Kong will definitely take action to protect its rights and interests.

Yau made the statement after a meeting with major local commerce chambers on Thursday, where they discussed the US move.

Yau said that the US' unilateral, barbarian action ignores facts and violates international rules, and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) government severely condemns this move and strongly objects to it.

He stressed that tere is an international set of rules of origin that all countries respect, and the US' move doesn't comply with WTO rules nor the rules of origin. "As a separate customs territory, Hong Kong has the right to use the 'Made in Hong Kong' label," Yau said.

Hong Kong is part of China and the "one country, two systems" principle is an institutional ad-vantage granted by the motherland, under which Hong Kong can join international organizations, enjoy commerce and trade autonomy and act as a separate customs territory, Yau said, adding that these principles are in line with the Basic Law.

He pointed out that the US' move shows ignorance of Hong Kong's special tariff status and its standing as a WTO member, resulting in unnecessary difficulties.

Yau said the impact of the US' move on Hong Kong's exports will not be too big because the city exports about HK$4 billion ($516 million) worth of products to the US annually, but some companies and industries may be affected.

In the long run, the US' barbarian action would weaken Hong Kong companies' willingness to do business with the US, he said.

Hong Kong's international trade scale is No.7 in the world, and it does business with almost all countries. "The Hong Kong SAR government will put forward a strong and fair argument for actions that damage the city's rights and interests, which is also important for maintaining bilateral trade," Yau said.

Imports from Hong Kong to the US will be labeled "Made in China" instead of "Made in Hong Kong" from September 25, according to a notice published on Tuesday by the US Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

Ren Hongbin, assistant minister of commerce, said at a press briefing on Thursday that Hong Kong's standing as a separate customs territory is not granted by the US; rather, it has a legal basis in the WTO and is accepted and recognized by WTO members.

He said that Hong Kong has played an important role in the Chinese mainland's foreign trade since the start of reform and opening-up, and will continue playing its role with the signing of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) between the mainland and Hong Kong.

"We will take measures to promote economic integration between the mainland and Hong Kong. We'll further promote opening-up under the CEPA framework, support Hong Kong joining the establishment of the Belt and Road Initiative and boost the establishment of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to promote Hong Kong's stability, prosperity and development," he said.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list