Lobbying for the United States' renewal of trade privileges for China would require the most intensive effort in years, Mr Patten warned. The annual argument over Most Favoured Nation status, was 'anything but in the bag', he said. As fears grow the issue could be caught up in tensions over the Taiwan Strait, the effect of withdrawing the status is estimated to cost Hong Kong six per cent to eight per cent of its trade flow, worth $161 billion to $234 billion. 'We will need . . . to be even more forceful and convincing in our arguments than in recent years,' Mr Patten told the American Chamber of Commerce.