EU Delegation Meets Cambodian Ministers to Discuss Trade Status Amid Democratic Rollbacks

A European Union delegation met with top officials in Cambodia Wednesday to discuss whether the Southeast Asian nation should continue to enjoy preferential trade terms with the bloc amid rollbacks on democracy, even as Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered “attacks” on the country’s opposition.

The EU decided in February to launch a six-month monitoring period to determine whether Cambodian exports should continue to enjoy tax-free entry into the European market under the Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme.

The EU trade measure, and a similar one proposed by the U.S. Congress, was motivated by the September 2017 arrest of opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) President Kem Sokha for alleged acts of “treason” and the dissolution of his party two months later, along with a wider crackdown on media and civil society.

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