On July 14, 2020, President Donald Trump signed into law the “Hong Kong Autonomy Act” (H.R. 7440), which authorizes and imposes sanctions on foreign persons, entities and financial institutions contributing to China’s actions to remove autonomy from Hong Kong. Unanimously passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate in early July, this new law addresses growing concerns over China’s crackdown on protests in Hong Kong and its continued efforts to remove Hong Kong’s economic and administrative autonomy. President Trump also issued an executive order directing all relevant agencies to amend any regulations “which provide different treatment for Hong Kong as compared to China,” including, but not limited to, various immigration and export control laws and regulations.

Key Notes:

  • President Trump has signed into law the Hong Kong Autonomy Act in response to China’s actions to suppress protests in Hong Kong and remove its economic and administrative autonomy.
  • The Act imposes sanctions on both persons and foreign financial institutions designated as contributing to China’s failure to adhere to its obligations in maintaining Hong Kong’s autonomy.
  • A related executive order suspends or eliminates different and preferential treatment for Hong Kong, including certain export controls, certain agreements and cooperation between the United States and Hong Kong, and affects the entry into the United States of designated persons.

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