Hong Kong Formally Protests to U.S. on ‘Made in China’ Labeling

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Hong Kong’s government has formally protested the Trump administration’s move to label imports from the city as “Made in China” rather than “Made in Hong Kong,” as the U.S. and China continue to spar on fronts ranging from trade and technology to human rights.

The city’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau on Wednesday met with the Acting U.S. Consul General in Hong Kong, Paul Horowitz, and asked him to submit a letter of complaint to the U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

“The U.S.’s unilateral and irresponsible attempt to weaken Hong Kong’s status as a separate customs territory is highly inappropriate,” Yau said, according to a government statement. “Such a move also confuses the market and undermines the rules-based multilateral trading system. We will robustly advance our arguments to defend Hong Kong’s interests.”

The financial hub had previously complained about the American move, which takes effect on Nov. 9. It comes after the Trump administration rescinded Hong Kong’s special status under U.S. law, part of a pushback against China’s crackdown in Hong Kong. Washington and Beijing are waging a broader tit-for-tat battle on everything from sanctions on each other’s officials to restrictions on journalists based in both countries.

Earlier this week, the U.S. State Department updated its travel advisory on Hong Kong based on China’s implementation of a national security law, warning that China now “unilaterally and arbitrarily exercises policy and security power in Hong Kong.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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