HK turns to WTO’s dispute settlement over US’s labeling restriction

Local | 30 Oct 2020 4:34 pm

The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Edward Yau Tang-wah said today Hong Kong has formally requested the World Trade Organization to initiate the Dispute Settlement Mechanism, over the US’s unilateral order to label locally-made goods as “Made in China”.

Yau said this is the first time Hong Kong has ever made a complaint towards another member country proactively.

“The US’s response is disappointing since we have requested them to withdraw the requirements in September and to resolve the matter through bilateral discussions,” Yau added.

He said the US Trade Representative has been notified and must respond within 10 days, and start negotiations with Hong Kong within 30 days.

“After failing to resolve the matter within 60 days, the Hong Kong government would request the WTO to establish a panel of experts to adjudicate the merits of the case,” Yau stressed.

The US has imposed new requirements in August for locally-made goods imported to the US to be labeled as “Made in China”, the US later delayed the decision until November 9.

Hong Kong government slammed it as the US' unilateral and irresponsible attempt to weaken Hong Kong's status as a separate customs territory, confusing the market and undermines the rules-based multilateral trading system.

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