Congress Passes Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019
Congress has passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019. The bill states “Hong Kong must remain sufficiently autonomous from the People’s Republic of China to “justify treatment under a particular law of the United States, or any provision thereof, different from that accorded the People’s Republic of China”.” Specifically, the U.S. will assess efforts by China to use “the status of Hong Kong as a separate customs territory to import items into the People’s Republic of China from Hong Kong” as means of avoiding economic sanctions and tariffs. Additionally, the bill will compile “a list of individuals responsible for committing acts that violate internationally recognized human rights in Hong Kong,… and bars such individuals from entering the United States and imposes sanctions on them.”
The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act received “bipartisan support” as the Senate voted unanimously in its favor, and the House of Representatives voted 417-1 for its passing. The sole dissenting vote in Congress was Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie.