Co-Authored by Sharath Patil
On October 30, 2021, Hong Kong, China requested consultations with the United States regarding U.S. measures affecting origin markings on goods imported from Hong Kong to the United States. On November 24, 2020, the United States and Hong Kong held consultations on the matter. On January 14, 2021, Hong Kong requested the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) to establish a dispute settlement panel. In response, the WTO established a dispute settlement panel on February 22, 2021.
Issues Raised by Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s panel request concerns U.S. measures that require goods produced in Hong Kong to be marked to indicate that their origin is in “China” rather than “Hong Kong.” Historically, the United States has required that goods with origin of Hong Kong are to be marked with Hong Kong as the Country of Origin. Last year, the United States changed this requirement and now requires that such goods be marked with China as the Country of Origin. Hong Kong alleges that the U.S. measures violate certain provisions of the General Agreements of Tariffs and Trade 1994, the WTO Agreement on Rules of Origin, and the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.
The Uruguay Round Agreements Act requires the federal government to provide a notice and comment opportunity after the United States submits to receives a request for the establishment of a WTO dispute settlement panel. Accordingly, USTR has provided notice that Hong Kong, China, has requested the establishment of a dispute settlement panel. Although USTR will accept any comments during the course of the proceedings, USTR requests that comments are submitted on or before April 12, 2021 to be assured to consideration. USTR strongly prefers electronic submissions made the Federal eRulemaking Portal. The docket number for this comment opportunity is USTR-2021-0001.
Diaz Trade Law has extensive expertise on import-related matters (particularly related to U.S. imports from China) and in preparing and submitting comments for federal rulemaking. Please reach out to us if you would like to submit comments to USTR. Diaz Trade Law can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 305-456-3830.