Trump Suggests He Might Veto Bill Supporting Hong Kong To Protect Trade Deal
President Donald Trump suggested on Friday that he might veto a piece of legislation supporting the rights of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong due to the negative impact it could have on his potential trade deal with China.
According to The Washington Post, Trump said during an interview with Fox & Friends that he supports Hong Kong but does not want to jeopardize a deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“We have to stand with Hong Kong, but I’m also standing with President Xi [Jinping],” the president said. “He’s a friend of mine. He’s an incredible guy...But I’d like to see them work it out. Okay. We have to see and work it out. But I stand with Hong Kong. I stand with freedom. I stand with all of the things that we want to do, but we also are in the process of making the largest trade deal in history. And if we could do that, that would be great."
The Post noted that the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act passed unanimously in the Senate and was short just one vote in the House — meaning the measure has enough support in both chambers for Congress to overrule a potential veto.
Trump has until after the Thanksgiving holiday to decide what he will do, the newspaper said, as rules dictate he must either sign or veto the bill within ten days of passing both chambers. The House passed the legislation on Wednesday and the Senate on Tuesday.
If the president takes no action, the bill — which “authorizes sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials involved in human rights abuses and requires the State Department to conduct an annual review of the special autonomous status that the U.S. grants Hong Kong in trade matters” — will automatically become law.