Local industry groups have asked the E.U. to postpone the partial withdrawal of Cambodia’s tariff-free access to the European bloc for a year to allow the garment sector time to recover from the ongoing pandemic-spurred economic crisis.
The removal of the nation’s “Everything But Arms” (EBA) trade benefits on exports of select garments and other products to Europe, which goes into effect in two months, risks jeopardizing advances in labor rights and working conditions in Cambodia, the groups said in a letter addressed to senior E.U. officials.
The request comes as hundreds of suspended garment workers in Kandal province blocked a road on Tuesday during a protest calling for government-promised payments of $40 each for those who are out of work due to the Covid-19-related economic downturn.