Trump signs Hong Kong Autonomy Act, to hold China accountable for efforts to stifle freedom of its people

President Trump signed both the Hong Kong Autonomy Act and a related executive order last night, which will hold China and others accountable for the efforts to stifle the freedom and safety of the people of Hong Kong.

U.S. President Donald J. Trump signs Hong Kong Autonomy Act, to hold China accountable for efforts to stifle freedom of its people

“We’ve all watched what happened. Not a good situation,” President Trump said during a press conference from the White House Rose Garden. “Their freedom has been taken away. Their rights have been taken away. And with it, goes Hong Kong.”

China has violated its longstanding obligations on the issue, reversing Hong Kong’s status as a free society and endangering its innocent residents. These actions are a blatant violation of China’s promise to Great Britain that it would keep Hong Kong free and open until the year 2047.

American lives and livelihoods are at risk, as well: 1,300 American businesses and 85,000 American citizens currently reside in Hong Kong.

Last night’s actions give the President and his Administration powerful new tools to hold responsible any individuals and entities involved in extinguishing Hong Kong’s freedom. The executive order, for example, ends U.S. preferential treatment for Hong Kong unless and until the Chinese Communist Party takes appropriate corrective steps.

“No administration has been tougher on China than this administration,” President Trump said. He’s right—from day one, these important actions have included:

  • Placing hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs on Chinese goods to confront unfair trade practices
  • Launching a Section 301 investigation into China’s intellectual property abuses
  • Protecting U.S. national security by placing tariffs on steel from abroad
  • Stopping Federal retirement investment in problematic Chinese companies
  • Halting U.S. funding to the World Health Organization in response to its dangerous bias toward China on Coronavirus

“China has taken out hundreds of billions of dollars a year from our country,” President Trump said. “And we rebuilt China. I give them all the credit in the world. I don’t give the credit for the people that used to stand here [at the White House], because they allowed this to happen.”