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President Donald Trump yesterday signed legislation to impose sanctions on China in response to its interference with Hong Kong’s autonomy. The executive order ends the preferential treatment that Hong Kong has long enjoyed, clarifies that Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China.

“No special privileges, no special economic treatment and no export of sensitive technologies. In addition to that, we are placing massive tariffs and have placed very large tariffs on China,” said Trump.

China’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday Beijing will impose retaliatory sanctions against U.S. individuals and entities in response to the law targeting banks, though the statement released through state media did not reference the executive order.

The law, dubbed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, would impose mandatory sanctions on Chinese officials and companies that helped back Beijing’s imposition of a security law that clamps down on dissent in Hong Kong. The sanctions bill passed both houses of Congress earlier this month.

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown into question the status of Trump’s long-sought trade deal with Beijing, the first phase of which was signed by both US and China earlier this year. The world’s two largest economies are continuing with the struggle to mend trade relations.

Source: CNBC