The European Union’s move to end trade preferences for Cambodia and Myanmar over human rights issues has spurred both countries to take drastic action. But while Cambodia has responded by easing political restrictions, Myanmar has turned to economic reforms to blunt the impact.
Last October, the European Commission said it was ready to terminate an arrangement granting both countries tariff-free access to the EU. “Our EU trade policy must be led by our values,” wrote Cecilia Malmstrom, the body’s trade commissioner. “Accordingly, when we are faced with blatant disregard for those values, the EU must act.”