Cambodia: Businesses & unions send a joint letter to EU Trade Commissioner to express their concerns of potential EBA's withdrawal
"Cambodia businesses, unions ask EU not to impose trade sanctions", 21 January 2019
Cambodian businesses and unions urged the European Union … to not withdraw trade preferences from Cambodia over human rights concerns, saying such a decision would pose serious economic damage and harm millions of workers and their families.
The EU warned … that it would strip Cambodia of its “Everything but Arms” (EBA) duty-free trading access, …
A letter addressed to EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom … said the trade threat was most concerning for Cambodia’s rural women. “(They) make up 85 percent of the 700,000 garment workers and (are) therefore most likely to suffer ... from the social and economic repercussions of any change to the status quo,” it said…
“We ask the European Commission instead to examine the current situation through the context of Cambodia’s difficult history,” the letter said.
The Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) and the American Chamber of Commerce, two of the 40 signatories, confirmed the authenticity of the letter.
The EU’s Ambassador to Cambodia, George Edgar, did not immediately respond to a request … for comment.
In a tweet …, Malmstrom said she had discussed the EBA agreement and the possibility of a withdrawal of the tariff preferences with Cambodia’s Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn.
“Reiterated our concerns on democracy, human rights and rule of law. The EU continues to keep the path of dialogue open,” she said ...