The Biden administration plans to release an advisory this week warning US companies against doing business in Hong Kong. In comments to The South China Morning Post, US business leaders based in Hong Kong spoke out against Biden’s approach.
Rob Chipman, the CEO of the logistics company Asian Tigers Group, told the Post that he was surprised Biden was taking a similar approach to Hong Kong as his predecessor. Last year, President Trump ended Hong Kong’s preferential trade status, meaning the city is now subject to the same sanctions and restrictions as mainland China.
Trump changed the trade status over Beijing’s implementation of a new national security law for Hong Kong. But if Beijing’s influence in the city is what concerned Trump, limiting the amount of business US companies can do in Hong Kong seems counterproductive, which is how Chipman said he views Biden’s planned advisory.
“What the US is doing is crazy and counterproductive,” he said. “It makes the business atmosphere negative and is against American businesses in Hong Kong.”
Jim Thompson, the founder of the logistic company Crown Worldwide Group, said Biden’s plan would add to the stress created by the Trump administration. “[The advisory] makes it harder for American investors to do business in the city, which is like putting handcuffs on them,” he said. “This is so sad.”
The advisory would be the latest move by the Biden administration to attempt to put pressure on Beijing, although it seems like it would only hurt US businesses and their partners in the city. On Tuesday, the Biden administration issued an updated advisory warning US companies with supply chains in Xinjiang that they run a “high risk” of violating US law.