Edward Yau Makes Tariff Plea

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Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau met US Consul General Kurt Tong today to convey Hong Kong's request for exclusion from the US plan to raise the tariff on imports of aluminium products.


Mr Yau said: "We urge the US administration to exclude Hong Kong from its plan to raise tariff on the import of aluminium products from Hong Kong as we consider such measures unilateral, discriminatory and based on unfounded allegations. We also urge the US administration to engage in full dialogue with us prior to any unilateral action."


Noting the US had a US$32.5 billion surplus in merchandise trade with Hong Kong in 2017, making it the economy with which the US has the highest trade surplus, Mr Yau said Hong Kong exports only a small volume of the covered aluminium goods to the US.


"These minimal exports would by no means threaten US national security or the viability of US domestic industries. The proposed tariff is totally unjustified.


"We urge the US administration to give full regard to the long-standing and close bilateral trade relations with Hong Kong, a reliable and responsible trading partner of the US."


Hong Kong has filed a formal representation to the US administration to state its opposition and regret about the proposed tariff.


The Permanent Representative of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China to the World Trade Organisation also registered grave concern about the proposed tariffs at the General Council Meeting of the WTO.


Mr Yau said: "As a staunch supporter of free trade and the multilateral trading system, we urge WTO members to honour their tariff commitments. We will continue to follow up on the matter on the WTO platform, while starting bilateral discussions with the US."


Hong Kong aluminium manufacturers exporting the affected categories of products to the US are encouraged to approach the Trade & Industry Department for advice and assistance in making representations to the US Department of Commerce to exclude their product from unilateral tariffs when the procedures for doing so are released.