EU Says Cambodia Should ‘Restore Political Freedoms’ as Tariffs Kick In

Cambodia’s pandemic-hit garment industry took another blow on Wednesday, losing some of its duty-free trade access to the E.U., with the bloc noting that the government had failed to make political reforms to avoid the penalties.

In a statement, the E.U.’s trade commissioner, Phil Hogan, said there was an “urgent need for Cambodia to respect human rights and labour rights,” and that the bloc was prepared to once again drop the reinstated tariffs if Cambodia improved its human rights record.

The “Everything But Arms” trade scheme had previously given Cambodia duty-free and quota-free access to the E.U. market — the destination for nearly half of the country’s exports in 2018.

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