HKSAR govt requires U.S. to withdraw its new requirement on origin marking

The government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Wednesday formally took issue with the U.S. government over the new requirement announced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on August 11 in respect of the origin marking of Hong Kong products, and requested that the requirement be withdrawn immediately.

"The U.S.' unilateral and irresponsible attempt to weaken Hong Kong's status as a separate customs territory is highly inappropriate. Such a move also confuses the market and undermines the rules-based multilateral trading system," according to a statement released by the HKSAR government quoting the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau.

"As a responsible WTO member, Hong Kong always abides by WTO rules. The action taken by the HKSAR government today is in accordance with the spirit and practices of the WTO. It is an important step before taking action against the U.S. under the WTO framework with a view to resolving the matter first at a bilateral level," Yau said.

Yau reiterated that under the principle of "one country, two systems," the HKSAR is an inalienable part of the People's Republic of China and the mainland has conferred a special status to the HKSAR through the Basic Law.

Pursuant to Articles 116, 151 and 152 of the Basic Law, the HKSAR is a separate customs territory and may, using the name "Hong Kong, China," participate in international organizations such as the WTO and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation as a separate member, and develop mutually beneficial economic and trade relations with economies around the world, he added.