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Global Times

HK government officially acts on US' new product marking order

Global Times

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/17 10:17:28

The Hong Kong government said that it is taking a formal step in dealing with the US' new rule on labeling of products of Hong Kong origin, which does not allow products to carry the "made in Hong Kong" label.

According to a statement from the website of the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah has met with the Acting US Consul General to Hong Kong and has a letter sent to the US Trade Representative (USTR) to have the order withdrawn on Wednesday.

Exports to the US made up for a fraction of Hong Kong's total foreign trade. According to the statistics from Hong Kong's trade authorities, the value of Hong Kong-produced goods exported to the US in 2019 was $471 million, accounting for only 0.1 percent of Hong Kong's total export value.

"The basic reason for Hong Kong's action is that such requirement on origin marking goes contrary to the WTO regulations," Yau said, "And it also infringes Hong Kong's right as a separate customs territory and our rights under the WTO."

Hong Kong is an independent and separate member in the WTO. According to Yau, Hong Kong trade authorities have also had the same message conveyed to the WTO in Geneva through Hong Kong's WTO representatives.

The new US ruling on goods labeling, which forces products made in Hong Kong to carry the label of "made in China", is a new measure taken to pressure Hong Kong's export to the US, which can subject the products to the same tariff as products made on the Chinese mainland. The US announced the new rule in August and it is expected to take effect in late September.

Yau said the Hong Kong authorities have asked the US to withdraw the order "immediately", but said that there has been no specific time frame on the process so far.

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