Forex Comment Jul 15

Why does Donald Trump want to punish me?!

The president has seen fit to crack down on millions of Hong Kongers by revoking the city's special trade status that has been in existence for decades 

Why does Donald Trump want to punish me?!
We love this city and have no intention to leave. Photo: AFP.  

(ATF) I am a Hong Kong resident since 2003. I've been a permanent resident of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China since 2010. My three young children were born here. My wife holds Chinese nationality and a Hong Kong passport. 

We love this city and have no intention to leave.

Now, after looking the other way all of last year, having taken zero constructive initiatives with China on a resolution to the often violent protests against the Hong Kong government and China, and China having taken the initiative with the introduction of a national security law, Donald Trump has seen fit to crack down. 

On what? Guess what! On me and my family and our livelihood and that of hundreds of thousands of expatriates in the city and millions of born-and-bred Hong Kongers – by revoking Hong Kong's special trade status in US law that has been in existence for decades. 

What does the man expect from that? Fomentation of more unrest? More Hong Kongers holding up his picture, singing the US and UK national anthems and calling for independence for Hong Kong and and "revolution of our times"?

As my colleague William Pesek writes in an opinion piece in Asia Times, Trump is a desperate man, has horribly mismanaged the coronavirus crisis as no other and is grasping for any straw he can find to get himself reelected on November 3. And being "tough on China" is one of the recipes of choice. 

Or, as his former strategist Steve Bannon told Asia Times a month ago, "the election is all about China."

So, should I worry? I do not. Trump is a pathetic caricature of a geopolitical strategist, has no coherent outlook and very little chance of being reelected by the American people.

The Hong Kong dollar today cared no more than I do about the Donald's antics. At the end of the Asian trading day, it stood at 7.7514, exactly where it opened.

The Chinese yuan strengthened in the course of the day after the PBoC set central parity at 6.9982. The rate at 7pm HK time was 6.9887. The offshore yuan traded at 6.9877.

And the almighty US dollar? It's at 95.8700 on the dollar index (DXY), its weakest since March 9 of this year. 

One legacy Trump may leave after departing office is to have seriously undermined the previously unchallenged global US dollar role.