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Cambodia: European Commission decides to partially withdraw Cambodia’s trade preferences affecting selected garment and footwear products, & all travel goods and sugar

Author: European Commission, Published on: 12 February 2020

"Commission decides to partially withdraw Cambodia’s preferential access to the EU market", 12 February 2020

The European Commission has decided to withdraw part of the tariff preferences granted to Cambodia under the European Union's Everything But Arms' (EBA) trade scheme due to the serious and systematic violations of the human rights principles enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The withdrawal of tariff preferences … will affect selected garment and footwear products, and all travel goods and sugar… Unless the European Parliament and the Council object, this will take effect on 12 August 2020.

High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, said: “The duration, scale and impact of Cambodia's violations of the rights to political participation and to the freedoms of expression and association left the European Union with no other choice than to partially withdraw trade preferences… For the trade preferences to be reinstated, the Cambodian authorities need to take the necessary measures.”

Commissioner for Trade, Phil Hogan, said: “The European Union is committed to supporting Cambodia's economic and social development through trade preferences. However, the respect for human rights is non-negotiable for us... Our aim is that the Cambodian authorities end human rights violations, and we will continue working with them in order to achieve that.”

… The Commission and the European External Action Service will continue their engagement with the Cambodian authorities and monitor the human rights and labour rights situation in the country closely. In case Cambodia shows significant progress, notably on civil and political rights, the Commission may review its decision and reinstate tariff preferences under the EBA arrangement.

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