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US-China trade

A new era in US-Hong Kong relations

Published 05 November 2020

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from mainland China. This article explores recent changes in US-Hong Kong relations, additional actions that the new US administration could take and their implications for Hong Kong’s business environment and for Hong Kong’s role as a global financial center.

2020, a year of terrible superlatives, has not spared US-Hong Kong relations. After the US Secretary of State declared that Hong Kong was no longer autonomous from mainland China for purposes of US law, President Trump signed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act and issued an Executive Order (EO) in July directing policy and legal shifts in four key areas.

Given the pervasive negative sentiment toward China among Washington officials, the new administration is unlikely to reverse its policy course any time soon and US-Hong Kong relations will likely remain strained for the foreseeable future.

As we enter a new era of US-Hong Kong relations, how will Hong Kong's business environment and role as a global financial center evolve?

Listen to a podcast featuring Hinrich Foundation Director of Research and Outreach Andrew Staples and Holly Smith, as Smith summarizes the findings of her paper and the possible differences in the US's approach in relation to Hong Kong under a Biden administration.

Also read Holly Smith's article on Why Hong Kong's autonomy is important for trade.

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Holly Smith

Holly Smith is a consultant in Hong Kong advising on trade and investment policy developments. She is a contributing writer to the Hinrich Foundation, responsible for the "What We’re Reading" bimonthly reading list and "How to Use It" guides. She also consults for Asia Society Hong Kong Center, developing their business and policy programs.

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