June 02, 2020

What Trump’s Announcement on Hong Kong Could Mean

By Peter Harrell

President Trump announced on May 29 that his administration would “begin the process of eliminating policy exemptions that give Hong Kong different and special treatment” than mainland China under U.S. law. Trump’s announcement followed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s decision earlier last week to determine that Hong Kong was no longer sufficiently autonomous from China under the 1992 Hong Kong Policy Act.

That 1992 act provided that U.S. trade and investment law treats Hong Kong differently from China. Last fall, concerned by Chinese actions against protestors in Hong Kong, Congress passed a new law requiring Pompeo to periodically evaluate whether Hong Kong in fact continued to remain autonomous from China as stipulated in the 1992 act. Then last week, in light of China’s plan to enact a new national security law asserting greater Chinese authority over the city, Pompeo decertified Hong Kong under the 1992 act.

Trump’s announcement was light on details about specific steps that his administration will take, kicking several decisions on implementation to working groups and other government processes.

Read the full article in Lawfare.

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