Hong Kong has launched procedures under the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism requesting a bilateral consultation with the U.S., Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said at a press briefing Friday.
According to WTO rules, the U.S. must respond to Hong Kong’s request within 10 days and conduct the consultation with Hong Kong within 30 days, he said. After that, if the two sides can’t come to an agreement within 60 days Hong Kong has the right to request a panel be formed to settle the dispute, Yau said.
The city retains separate representation at the global trade body and has a separate customs jurisdiction from mainland China.
“Given the disappointing response of the U.S. in the past six weeks it is necessary for the Hong Kong government to take further action against the U.S.,” Yau said.
Hong Kong has increasingly become a target for the U.S. amid its trade war with China. The city’s status as an Asian financial hub and its relationship with the mainland have come under scrutiny, especially after a national security law was imposed in June in response to months of political unrest.
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