Garment Industry Owners Say Trade Status Withdrawal Would Hurt Four Million Cambodians

Withdrawing Cambodia’s tax-free entry into the European market would negatively nearly four million people, the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) said Monday, as a monitoring period to determine eligibility for the trade scheme drew to a close.

The European Commission on Feb. 12 launched a six-month investigation to determine whether the country’s exports should continue to enjoy tariff free exports to the EU under the Everything But Arms (EBA) arrangement.

The decision was prompted in part by reports of labor rights violations, as well as by a November 2017 ruling by Cambodia’s Supreme Court to ban the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), amid a wider crackdown by Prime Minister Hun Sen on the political opposition, NGOs, and the independent media that paved the way for his ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) to win all 125 seats in parliament in the country’s July 2018 general election.

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