After months of speculation, deliberation, and increasingly aggressive rhetoric from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the European Union has decided to partially withdraw its preferential trade deal with Cambodia over human rights abuses.
The Everything But Arms deal allows developing countries to export goods other than weapons to the EU tax and duty free, but comes with human rights requirements. The EBA was put on the chopping block mostly due to the 2017 arrest of Cambodia’s opposition leader Kem Sokha and the dissolution of his party, which rendered Cambodia a de facto one-party state.
The partial withdrawal will impact about 20 percent of Cambodia’s exports to the EU, totaling $1.1 billion, and includes parts of the country’s all-important garment sector.
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