President Donald Trump is expected to sign legislation supporting protesters in Hong Kong, according to a report in Bloomberg.
The move would put Washington, D.C. on a collision course with Beijing and could squash any hopes of a U.S.-China trade deal before 2020.
If passed into law, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act could close the door on a “phase one” trade deal by the end of 2019.
The bill was drafted in response to Beijing’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. According to Reuters, the purpose of the bill is to uphold human rights in Hong Kong “by requiring regular reviews of the city’s special financial status.”
Amidst trade hurdles and impeachment proceedings, the bill is the latest in a series of obstacles preventing a trade resolution between the U.S. and China.
Trump has threatened to slap more tariffs on Chinese goods if trade talks with Beijing collapse.
Political speculation and news from the impeachment hearings caused stocks to slump Wednesday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 112.93 points, or 0.40%, to close at 27,821.09.
The Hong Kong bill and a “quid quo pro” bombshell during the impeachment hearings caused the Dow Jones to nosedive in afternoon trading.
The S&P 500 slightly dipped by 11.72 points, or 0.38%, to close at 3,108.46.
Threats of fresh tariffs also caused Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) stocks to drop 1.16%. But President Trump sought to reassure Apple on Wednesday evening by announcing the opening of “a major Apple manufacturing plant in Texas.”
According to Reuters, Trump also might exempt Apple from future tariffs on Chinese imports.
Following the Twitter announcement, Apple saw a bump after hours and grew to 264.20, up 1.01%.
This article was edited by Gerelyn Terzo.
Last modified: November 21, 2019 1:44 AM UTC