The Financial Secretary Paul Chan said it’s very likely that the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act will be passed by the US congress as it has bipartisan support.

The bill would oblige Washington to make annual assessments of Hong Kong’s level of autonomy to decide whether it should keep its separate status from that of the mainland under US law. The act could also lead to sanctions against officials.

Chan said the bill won’t affect the SAR’s economy immediately, it may affect the investment atmosphere.

He also painted a grim picture of the local economy in the third quarter, saying an economic Typhoon Signal Number Three is now in force.

“It is highly likely that we will be registering a quarter-on-quarter negative growth again for the third quarter again.

“If that is the case, then technically we will be in recession. We are monitoring the situation very closely and seeing what the government can do to support our SMEs and to sustain employment.”