Govt Takes 'Made In China' Fight With US To The WTO

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2020-10-30 HKT 18:01

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  • Govt takes 'Made in China' fight with US to the WTO

The government says it has launched proceedings at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to challenge a demand by Washington that Hong Kong manufacturers label their export products to the US as “Made in China”.

Commerce and Economic Secretary Edward Yau expressed disappointment at what he called "vague responses" from the US on the matter over the past six weeks, and said Hong Kong has to "fight against the US".

He said if the dispute cannot be resolved through consultations within 60 days, Hong Kong could ask the WTO to establish a panel for an investigation and ruling.

"The US' unilateral and irresponsible attempt to weaken Hong Kong's status as a separate customs territory is highly inappropriate," Yau said. "Such a move also confuses the market and undermines the rules-based multilateral trading system."

He also said that the SAR would not ask for help from Beijing with any negotiations.

"The Basic Law confers to Hong Kong our separate customs territory, and also a high degree of autonomy, including and in particular, in a trade and customs territory. Therefore, it’s a matter that Hong Kong can handle on our own,” he said.

The "Made in China" requirement was announced in August, two months after US President Donald Trump issued an executive order declaring that Hong Kong was no longer sufficiently autonomous from the mainland.