You could easily argue that risks to the macro outlook multiplied on Thursday, as the first concrete signs that the US economy may be forced to cope with another wave of localized lockdowns coincided with the Senate passing bipartisan legislation aimed at punishing banks for interactions with Chinese officials associated with the new national security law in Hong Kong.
The Senate measure, approved on a voice vote, mandates an annual review from the State department, which is charged with identifying officials engaged in activities deemed detrimental to the city's "one country, two systems" model. Those individuals could have their assets seized.
Some parts of the new bill are broadly similar to the steps required under the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which Trump (somewhat begrudgingly) signed in November. But the threat of sanctions against banks is new.
"What the government of China is doing in Hong Kong is unacceptable", Chris Van Hollen said on the floor Thursday. "They are taking away the rights of people [and] they are snuffing out freedoms".
Details of the new national security law released last weekend clearly suggest Beijing intends to override Hong Kong
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