Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey introduced the ‘‘Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO) Certification Act’’ on December 15, 2022.
Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices (HKETOs) operate as official representative offices of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to the United States and enjoy a series of privileges, exemptions, and immunities.
Senator Rubio and Representative Chris Smith introduced the bill to reevaluate the United States’ recognition of HKETOs following Hong Kong’s loss of autonomy.
“Given Beijing’s takeover of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices can no longer escape the reach of the Chinese Communist Party. HKETOs now serve as a mouthpiece for the CCP. Common sense – not to mention U.S. law – advises that they be rooted out of our country altogether.” — Senator Rubio
The legislation would require the President, 30 days after enactment, to certify whether HKETOs in the United States merit the extension of privileges, exemptions, and immunities that they currently maintain. This determination by the President would be required yearly.
“The bicameral bill authored by Sen. Rubio and Rep. Smith hits the bull’s eye: There’s no place in the U.S. for the propaganda arm of the Beijing-backed Hong Kong puppet regime,” said Anna Kwok, HKDC’s Executive Director.