'Mandating China label like forcing HK firms to lie' - RTHK
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'Mandating China label like forcing HK firms to lie'

2020-08-13 HKT 18:34
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  • 'Mandating China label like forcing HK firms to lie'
The Commerce Secretary Edward Yau said on Thursday that a move by the US authorities to require manufacturers in Hong Kong to label their products as ‘Made in China’ is like asking the traders to tell lies about their origin.

On Tuesday, the US customs announced it would require all Hong Kong products to be labelled as made in China from September 25.

The step was taken after the US determined that Hong Kong is "no longer sufficiently autonomous to justify differential treatment in relation to China" after a new security law was implemented in the SAR.

But Yau slammed the move as a ploy to undermine Hong Kong’s status as a separate customs territory.

“How could a Hong Kong-made product be labelled as a product as made in some other place?” he asked.

“This is calling white black, inconsistent with the facts, unilateral, and doesn’t comply with WTO [World Trade Organisation] rules and international regulations over the origin of products.”

"It's a deliberate attempt to sort of undermine Hong Kong [as] a separate customs territory, which is a very important pillar for Hong Kong as an international trading centre,” said the secretary.

Hong Kong's exports to the United States reached about HK$3.7 billion last year – about 0.1 percent of the SAR's total export.

Yau said while the business impact would be limited, the measure did cause a lot of confusion among traders.

“To individual companies or selected sector, if they are focusing on the US market, this confusion, this uncertainty would cause difficulties,” he said.

On Wednesday, the government said it was considering taking action under the rules of the WTO over the US move.