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Hong Kong

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In brief The Hong Kong Trade and Industry Department (TID) recently released a new circular concerning the control of strategic commodities. Hong Kong exporters of US-origin electronics, computers, and telecommunications equipment should be clear about whether US authorization is required for any export, and ensure that all relevant authorizations and licenses are obtained prior to any shipment. Exporters relying on “License Exception CIV” will no longer be able to do so after 29 June 2020.…

On May 12, 2020, the Philippines component of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Investment Agreement (IA) between Hong Kong, China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) entered into force. The FTA and IA entered into force between Hong Kong and Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam in 2019. According to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), under the FTA, the Philippines will progressively eliminate and reduce customs duties on goods…

On November 27, 2019, President Trump signed two bills into law that increase US sanctions and export control restrictions as they relate to China. The bills, approved in response to recent political protests in Hong Kong, had near unanimous support from the US Congress. President Trump previously expressed concerns about the legislation while in the midst of negotiating a trade deal with China but ultimately signed both bills in the hopes that the “Leaders and…

On May 14, 2019, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published in the Federal Register a final rule [Docket No. 181219999-8999-01] that amends the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) by adding twelve entities, under a total of sixteen entries, to the Entity List. These twelve entities have been determined by the US Government to be acting contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States and will be listed on the…

On September 26, 2018, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published in the Federal Register a final rule [Docket No. 180910826-8826-01] that amends the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) by adding fourteen entities to the Entity List. These fourteen entities have been determined by the US Government to be acting contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States and will be listed on the Entity List under the destinations of Belarus, Iran, Russia, and Singapore.

The WTO announced that Members expressed their concerns over possible measures by the United States regarding extra duties on the import of automobiles, including cars, SUVs, vans, light trucks and automotive parts, at the Council for Trade in Goods (CTG) held on 3 and 4 of July. Over 40 members — including the 28 European Union members — took the floor to warn of the “serious disruption” to world markets and the multilateral trading system that may arise as a result of these potential measures, particularly in light of the large proportion of global trade accounted for by these products. The announcement said:

As you may recall, early last year, President Trump issued two presidential memoranda instructing the U.S. Commerce Department to initiate an investigation into the national security implications of steel imports and aluminum imports into the United States.  If these so-called “section 232” (section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended) investigations determine that steel import and/or aluminum imports “threaten to impair the national security[,]” then the President can impose additional customs duties (among other things) on covered products.

On June 16, 2018, the Secretary of Commerce issued his reports to the President in both matters (unclassified versions of the reports are available here).   In each case, the Department of Commerce concluded that the quantities and circumstances surrounding steel and aluminum imports “threaten to impair the national security,” thereby opening the door to the imposition of import restraints.  Specifically, Commerce’s recommendations are as follows:

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) announced that Australia and Hong Kong launched negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) on 16 May 2017.  Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, and is able to enter into its own trade agreements.  An Australia-Hong Kong FTA (A-HKFTA) would complement Australia’s FTA with China and further integrate the Australian economy with Asia.