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U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a general notice for “imported goods produced in Hong Kong,” announcing that “such goods may no longer be marked to indicate ‘Hong Kong’ as their origin, but must be marked to indicate ‘China.’”
The new requirement will begin after Sept. 25 for all such goods that are entered or withdrawn from warehouses for use in the U.S.
The move is a result of the Trump administration’s removal of Hong Kong’s special trading status in the wake of China’s ongoing erosion of Hong Kong’s promised autonomy.
The Communist Party leadership in Beijing passed a sweeping national security law that took effect in late June in Hong Kong, where months of pro-democracy protests shook the semi-autonomous nation’s leadership and the central government in China last year.
Citizens of Hong Kong fear the law is being abused to suppress dissent after authorities have signaled in recent weeks that they will enforce the law.
In the six weeks since the law took effect, activists have been arrested over online posts the government determined were inciting secession for Hong Kong independence. Pro-democracy nominees were disqualified from an upcoming legislative election for failing to pledge allegiance to both Hong Kong and Beijing. The city later postponed the election by one year.
The latest and most high-profile effort against those critical of China happened on Tuesday with the arrest of billionaire media tycoon Jimmy Lai, and the raiding of his tabloid paper’s newsroom.
In response to Hong Kong’s enforcement of the new law, the Trump administration on Friday announced that it is sanctioning Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam as part of a wave of sanctions on the city’s officials over the Chinese government’s “policies of suppression.”
Meanwhile, China on Monday announced it would impose sanctions on 11 U.S. citizens -- including Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa.
The State Department on Tuesday condemned the sanctions, saying the move indicates “the Chinese Communist Party has no tolerance for public discussion of human rights and freedom of expression both within and beyond its borders.”
Fox News' Rich Edson and Adam Shaw contributed to this report.