China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government strongly objects to the notice published Tuesday on the U.S. Federal Register by the Customs and Border Protection in relation to origin marking of Hong Kong products.
A spokesman for the HKSAR said, "The new rule on origin marking of Hong Kong products originates from the U.S. President's Executive Order issued on July 14 and reflects that the U.S. ignores Hong Kong's status as a separate member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The rule may not be consistent with WTO rules, and it will also not help protect consumers' interest. In fact, it will only cause confusion and affect the interests of all parties, including the U.S."
"The special status as a separate customs territory enjoyed by the HKSAR under 'one country, two systems' is conferred by the Constitution of the People's Republic of China and the HKSAR Basic Law. It is recognized by multilateral organizations such as the WTO, and is not granted or revocable by an individual country," the spokesman said.
According to the notice, the new rule will be implemented after 45 days. The HKSAR government is clarifying certain important implementation details with the U.S. authorities through the Economic and Trade Office of the HKSAR government in Washington in order to decide on the way forward.
The HKSAR government will maintain liaison with and provide clarification to the trade. It will also carefully consider if the U.S.' measures contravene WTO rules, and does not rule out the possibility of taking action under WTO rules if necessary to protect Hong Kong's interests, the spokesman said.