More information about Hong Kong is available on the China Country Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
U.S.-HONG KONG RELATIONS
In 1997, China resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong, ending more than 150 years of British colonial rule. Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Hong Kong’s foreign relations and defense are the responsibility of the PRC.
Hong Kong is an independent customs territory and economic entity separate from the PRC and can separately enter into international agreements in commercial, economic, and certain legal matters, under the Basic Law.
U.S. policy toward Hong Kong is stated in the U.S.-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, and the Hong Kong Autonomy Act of 2020. It is grounded in the determination to promote Hong Kong’s prosperity, autonomy, and way of life. The United States maintains substantial economic and political interests in Hong Kong and serves a large community of U.S. citizens and visitors in Hong Kong. The U.S. continues to advocate for protection of fundamental freedoms and human rights in Hong Kong, following the imposition of the national security law.
After the PRC’s decision to unilaterally impose national security legislation, the United States determined that Hong Kong was no longer sufficiently autonomous to justify differential treatment in relation to the PRC under the U.S.-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992. The President’s Executive Order on Hong Kong Normalization, issued on July 14, 2020, suspended or eliminated special and differential treatment for Hong Kong, including with respect to export controls; imports; immigration; the extradition and transfer of sentenced persons; training for law enforcement and security services; shipping tax; and cultural exchange programs.
Hong Kong is active in counterterrorism efforts. Hong Kong belongs to the Container Security Initiative and remains an important partner in efforts to eliminate funding for terrorist networks and combat money laundering. Hong Kong has passed legislation designed to bring it into compliance with applicable United Nations anti-terror resolutions and with most Financial Action Task Force recommendations.
In 2010, Hong Kong passed legislation allowing it to adopt the most recent globally recognized standards for exchange of tax information. Hong Kong signed its first Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) with the United States in March 2014, and the two sides concluded an Inter-governmental Agreement (IGA) under the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
U.S. Assistance to Hong Kong
The United States provides no foreign assistance to Hong Kong.
The United States has substantial economic and social ties with Hong Kong. U.S. companies increasingly view Hong Kong’s business environment with wariness given the PRC’s repressive actions in contravention of the autonomy and freedoms promised to the people of Hong Kong under the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration. However, many still value Hong Kong’s low taxation proximity to the Chinese market, skilled workforce, and infrastructure. There are more than 1,300 U.S. firms, including 726 regional operations, and approximately 85,000 American residents in Hong Kong.
The U.S. trade surplus with Hong Kong is the single largest with a U.S. trading partner, with a surplus in 2018 of $31 billion, owing largely to Hong Kong imports of American aircraft and spacecraft, electric machinery, pearls, gold, diamonds, works of art, meat, fruit and nuts. America’s services exports to Hong Kong in 2018 were $12.8 billion. In addition, the United States remains one of the largest sources of foreign direct investment in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is a separate customs territory from mainland China, and is a full member of the World Trade Organization. Hong Kong maintains a comprehensive strategic trade controls system that follows multilateral export control regimes, and our governments have historically worked closely together to maintain and strengthen measures to prevent illegal diversion of controlled items. Intellectual property rights protection is relatively strong, but current copyright laws do not adequately address online piracy.
Hong Kong’s Membership in International Organizations
Hong Kong participates as a full member of several international economic organizations as an independent entity. The United States and Hong Kong both belong to the World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, and Financial Action Task Force. Hong Kong generally supports free markets and the reduction of trade barriers.
The U.S. Consul General in Hong Kong is Hanscom Smith; other principal officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
Hong Kong maintains three Economic and Trade Offices in the United States in Washington, DC; New York; and San Francisco.
China’s embassy in the United States is at 3505 International Place, NW, Washington, DC 20008; Tel.: (202) 495-2266
More information about Hong Kong is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here: