Washington has ordered that goods imported from Hong Kong to the US must be labeled ‘Made in China,’ with political and trade tensions rising between the world’s two biggest economies.
In a notice published on a government website on Tuesday, US Customs and Border Protection said that products made in Hong Kong and shipped to the United States must be properly marked to “indicate that their origin is ‘China.’” The rule will be applied to goods “entered or withdrawn from warehouse” after September 25.
Imports that do not have the required label after that date will be subjected to an additional 10 percent duty.
The ruling comes as Hong Kong is no longer treated by the US as autonomous from mainland China after Beijing passed its national security legislation. After the law took effect, US President Donald Trump stripped the former British colony of its special status, meaning that Hong Kong lost its privileged position in doing business with the US.
The measure means that Hong Kong exporters will be targeted with the same duties levied on mainland Chinese exporters amid the US-China trade row.
With phase two of the trade deal still in limbo, around $550 billion worth of Chinese goods are currently under US trade tariffs. However, the addition of products made in Hong Kong would not significantly increase the figure, as the region mainly serves to re-export goods and there are few direct exports from Hong Kong to the US. According to the US government census, Hong Kong exports to the US totaled around $6 billion in the first half of 2020, while for the whole 2019 the figure stood at $4.7 billion.
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