July 16, 2018 / 12:00 PM / a year ago

Hong Kong says up to 2.2 percent of exports could be hit by Sino-US trade row

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong said on Monday HK$130 billion ($16.56 billion) worth of trade could be affected if the United States imposes extra tariffs on imports from China, accounting for 2.2 percent of the Chinese-ruled city’s exports.

The United States has raised the stakes in its trade row with China, threatening to slap 10 percent tariffs on an extra $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, including numerous consumer items.

The fresh threats came only days after both nations slapped tit-for-tat duties on $34 billion worth of each other’s goods.

Hong Kong Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau told reporters on Monday the initial tariff list affected around 30 percent of the city’s re-exports from China to the United States, totaling HK$83.6 billion.

If the U.S. confirmed the additional list, then HK$130 billion worth of trade would be affected, almost half the re-exports.

“Market sentiment is reversing because exporters are worried about the orders in the second half,” Yau said. “Even though we haven’t seen a big immediate impact on the corporates yet, we need to be vigilant.”

The president of the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong, Dennis Ng, said the biggest concern of its members was a loss of orders, which may become a wider problem in the second half, and some manufacturers may move their factories out of China if necessary.

Reporting by Joy Leung and Clare Jim; Editing by Nick Macfie

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