The withdrawal of part of the tariff benefits granted to Cambodia went into effect this Wednesday. This is in line with the European Commission’s decision last February after the Asian country denounced “serious and systematic” human rights violations.
Brussels also argued that Cambodia had “made no significant progress” on civil and political rights over the past year.
The withdrawal of trade preferences affects apparel products, shoes, travel items and sugar, and these benefits are being replaced by the World Trade Organization (WTO )’s standard “Most Favored” tariffs of the bloc. .
The EU measure affects exports valued at around € 1 billion a year (a fifth of Cambodia’s annual exports to the bloc) and comes into effect this Wednesday after the European Parliament and EU governments failed to prove their opposition.
The Community Executive has defended that this is an appropriate response to the human rights abuses in Cambodia, while maintaining the goal of supporting the economic development of that country, especially the emerging industries that will continue to benefit from free access to Cambodia rights and Allotments to the block.