US sanctions will not impact HK much: Regina Ip - RTHK
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US sanctions will not impact HK much: Regina Ip

2020-05-28 HKT 12:00
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  • Regina Ip says that impact would be slight if the US imposed tariffs on locally-produced exports. Photo: RTHK
    Regina Ip says that impact would be slight if the US imposed tariffs on locally-produced exports. Photo: RTHK
Pro-government lawmaker and Executive Councillor Regina Ip says possible US sanctions and the suspension of special treatment for Hong Kong will not have much of an impact.

Speaking at Legco on Thursday, Ip said that Hong Kong's trade with the US is mostly re-exports, and that the impact would be slight if the US imposed tariffs on locally produced exports.

However she acknowledged that China's re-exports through Hong Kong, have already been affected by the Sino-US trade war, and the US has a trade surplus with Hong Kong that exceeded US$26 billion last year.

The former security secretary also said that she does not believe the US will sanction Hong Kong officials or lawmakers over the controversial national security law, saying the National People's Congress was the body that was spearheading the legislation – not the Hong Kong government and lawmakers.

She said that under the relevant US laws, Hong Kong lawmakers and officials do not meet the sanctions threshold, and that even if the US does impose sanctions, it would just mean freezing certain assets or refusing to issue visas, adding that those assets can be sold and not being able to go to the US would not be a big loss.

Meanwhile, Liberal Party leader Felix Chung said the SAR's business sector is concerned that the US may strip Hong Kong of its special status and lay sanctions.

While he said he does not think China will scrap the national security bill, Chung said Hong Kong may become a victim in the conflict between China and the United States.

Chung said that the announcement from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would affect "the confidence of the business sector in Hong Kong, the future investments and everything will be on hold".

"The US government [is] always saying they want to help Hong Kong, but on the other hand they might impose sanctions on Hong Kong," he said.

"So I believe that the US government should consider more clearly what they are going to do to Hong Kong; whether they're really helping Hong Kong or just hurting Hong Kong," he said.