28The EPA is of great political importance. The agreement signed at the end of June 2003 on the occasion of the official visit of the new Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to the SAR shows that the maintenance of Hong Kong`s prosperity remains the essential objective of the people`s republic of China`s policy towards SAR, not least because the Chinese authorities consider it to be the main factor in maintaining political stability in Hong Kong. , as well as in the principle of the success of the “one country, two systems” principle. The EPA is therefore the most visible sign of the Chinese authorities` desire to bring Chinese growth to Hong Kong by increasing economic penetration without jeopardy the total autonomy of Hong Kong`s economic territory, which has been symbolically strengthened by the conclusion of a bilateral trade agreement. 1A June 29, 2003, the Hong Kong and Mainland China Special Administrative Region signed a bilateral trade agreement, known by the acronym CEPA (Closed Economic Partnership Arrangement)1. This agreement has three sections: tariff reductions for 273 product categories that Hong Kong exports to the People`s Republic of China (PRC); a privileged opening of the Chinese market to Hong Kong service providers in 17 sectors (increased to 18 in September 2003); and a series of measures to facilitate bilateral trade in goods, capital and people. On September 29, 2003, Hong Kong and the PRC signed six annexes to the main agreement. The purpose of these annexes was to clarify and supplement the original provisions of the EPA. Appendixes 1 to 3 deal with the movement of goods and, in particular, set the rules for them, the origin of the products and the procedures for registering and verifying certificates of origin.
Appendix 4 and 5 deal with the second part of the agreement, the addition of the telecommunications sector and the definition of the “Hong Kong service provider.” Appendix 6 identifies six specific areas of cooperation between Hong Kong and China. Prior to its 1997 handover, the United States passed the 1992 HK Policy Act. The U.S. HK Policy Act effectively recognized Hong Kong`s status for a number of purposes under U.S. law, including trade (and its membership in the World Trade Organization); its role as an international financial centre; and in areas such as aviation and navigation, communication, tourism, culture and sport. The U.S. HK Policy Act allows the President of the United States to suspend or amend (or revoke) the recognition of Hong Kong`s status under U.S. law by an executive order. The port and trade node is the source of the largest bilateral trade surplus in the United States – $26 billion in 2019 – with leading U.S. export categories such as semiconductors, diamonds, jewelry, engines and aeronautical parts.