Hong Kong Special Trade Status Revocation: A Wise or a Witless Decision?

Hong Kong Special Trade Status Revocation: A Wise or a Witless Decision? 

According to the US President newest law, Hong Kong would no longer be liable for a special trade status. The announcement to end Hong Kong special trade status with the US was made a week ago by Donald Trump with the aim of sanctioning Chinese officials over the growing violence in the semi-autonomous city.

Speaking on the same context, the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Hong Kong said, “We regret the revocation of Hong Kong’s special trade status with the United States under the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act, which we believe will hurt American businesses in Hong Kong.”

The move is expected to have a wide-range impact on businesses, imports and exports. The experts believe that revoking of Hong Kong special trade status would largely impact the US’ business policies in Asia and could create a pessimistic approach in its future deals with the Asian financial hub.

The newest US law has been condemned by China, which calls the action as a “gross interference” in its internal affairs. China has long warned the countries criticising its national security law for Hong Kong. In response to the new law, China has vowed to impose sanctions on US officials and entities.

Criticising China for its role in Hong Kong, US Attorney General William Barr recently said that the country is exporting its dictatorship and authoritarian values for its long term ambitions. Calling Trump’s decision to abolish Hong Kong special trade status as short-sighted, Barr warned that it might bring more harm to the US businesses in the region.

Barr also added that the major US companies such as Walt Disney Co. and Apple Inc. have been highly manipulated by China. Over the time, these companies have enabled the Chinese government to gather wealth, while compromising the western and the US’ democratic values. So by its recent move, the US wishes to sanction the Chinese officials involved in bringing chaos in Hong Kong, while at the same time fulfilling its bigger motive of becoming a dominant power in the continent.

From Hong Kong residents visa applications to financial institutions dealing with Chinese clients, every aspect would be impacted with the reversal of the Hong Kong special trade status. The semi-autonomous city has severely been hit by pro-democracy protests that have been prevailing from the last year. The COVID-19 pandemic and China’s imposing of new national security law in Hong Kong has further heightened aggression in the streets.

The US is trying to support Hong Kong in its own way. The US-China rift has nearly doomed China’s efforts of becoming global superpower. Today, the US stands as a hindrance in China’s every ambition, be it 5G ambitions of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co. or territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

The experts believe that the US president’s latest move is to prove himself the righteous person and to strengthen his position before the elections due in November. Trump is standing against the former US Vice President, Joe Biden. But will this move be of any help? As known, the Chinese government has always focused upon benefiting in a long-run, so does that mean Trump’s revocation of Hong Kong special trade status could prove to be a mistake on his part?

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