Cambodia’s Top Rights Body Wants Tariff-Free EU Trade, But Won’t Budge on Political Reforms

Cambodia’s top human rights body said Wednesday that the country does not want to lose preferential trade status in the European Union but is unable to comply with the bloc’s requirements on rights reforms to retain those privileges, citing its status as a sovereign nation.

The EU in mid-February announced plans to suspend tariff-free access to its market under the “Everything But Arms” (EBA) scheme for around one-fifth of Cambodia’s exports, citing rollbacks on human rights—a decision that would reinstate taxes on garments and footwear beginning Aug. 12, unless it is overturned by the bloc’s governments or its parliament.

The suspension, which Prime Minister Hun Sen has shrugged off and called an attack on Cambodia’s sovereignty, will result in a loss of around U.S. $1.1 billion of the country’s annual U.S. $5.8 billion in exports to the bloc, some 75 percent of which are made up of clothing and textiles.

In full: https://www.rfa.org/english/news/cambodia/trade-06102020170942.html

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