28 min

What Does Hong Kong's Special Trade Status Really Mean? - Wendy Wysong and Ali Burney, Steptoe & Johnson China Law Podcast

    • Business

Hong Kong's special trade status is in jeopardy - but what does it actually mean? In this episode, Wendy Wysong and Ali Burney explain what Hong Kong could lose if its special treatment under U.S. law is revoked, especially when it comes to U.S. export control regulations - a key area of U.S. law that has been front and center of the Trump administration's campaign against Chinese businesses, most notably ZTE and Huawei. 



Wendy Wysong and Ali Burney are partners at global law firm Steptoe & Johnson. Wendy is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement in the Department of Commerce who previously represented Chinese telecom giant ZTE in their five-year multi-agency investigation in the U.S. Ali also has extensive experience in economic sanctions and export controls, having also worked previously in Washington, D.C. at the Office of Foreign Assets Control in the Department of Treasury.



The China Law Podcast is a weekly podcast exploring China’s business and financial sectors from a legal perspective, hosted by Vincent Chow. Get in touch at vchow@alm.com with any feedback and ideas for future episodes.



Episode outline


01:47 Looser rules for Hong Kong under U.S. export control regulations, mainly for dual-use and sensitive technology items
07:26 Hong Kong as a transshipment hub for U.S. exports to reach the PRC
10:47 Entity List and other tools used by U.S. export control authorities
18:11 U.S. exporters “pushing down” contractual burdens on Hong Kong importers/re-exporters
20:04 Deciding a business’ risk appetite and strengthening compliance programs
21:57 Commerce Department’s receptiveness to industry feedback
25:26 Draconian nature of U.S. export controls and sanctions

Hong Kong's special trade status is in jeopardy - but what does it actually mean? In this episode, Wendy Wysong and Ali Burney explain what Hong Kong could lose if its special treatment under U.S. law is revoked, especially when it comes to U.S. export control regulations - a key area of U.S. law that has been front and center of the Trump administration's campaign against Chinese businesses, most notably ZTE and Huawei. 



Wendy Wysong and Ali Burney are partners at global law firm Steptoe & Johnson. Wendy is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement in the Department of Commerce who previously represented Chinese telecom giant ZTE in their five-year multi-agency investigation in the U.S. Ali also has extensive experience in economic sanctions and export controls, having also worked previously in Washington, D.C. at the Office of Foreign Assets Control in the Department of Treasury.



The China Law Podcast is a weekly podcast exploring China’s business and financial sectors from a legal perspective, hosted by Vincent Chow. Get in touch at vchow@alm.com with any feedback and ideas for future episodes.



Episode outline


01:47 Looser rules for Hong Kong under U.S. export control regulations, mainly for dual-use and sensitive technology items
07:26 Hong Kong as a transshipment hub for U.S. exports to reach the PRC
10:47 Entity List and other tools used by U.S. export control authorities
18:11 U.S. exporters “pushing down” contractual burdens on Hong Kong importers/re-exporters
20:04 Deciding a business’ risk appetite and strengthening compliance programs
21:57 Commerce Department’s receptiveness to industry feedback
25:26 Draconian nature of U.S. export controls and sanctions

28 min

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