Cambodia faces losing EU trade preferences

Phnom Penh’s crackdown on political opposition prompts Brussels move.

Brussels is expected this week to move towards stripping Cambodia of some its trade preferences with the EU in response to a political crackdown on the country’s opposition.

The European Commission has decided to remove duty-free access for some of the more than €5bn of goods Cambodia exports to the bloc under the Everything but Arms (EBA) programme that benefits poor countries, three people close to the process said.

But Brussels was likely to refrain from approving a blanket withdrawal of all the trade preferences, they said, and was expected to maintain some support for the garments sector to help protect the livelihoods of factory workers.

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