As of mid-August, the Asian country will have to apply charges on exports of certain clothing and footwear products.
No more textile benefits for Cambodia. The European Commission has decided to partially withdraw tariff preferences to the Asian country. The measure responds to the conclusions of a Brussels delegation sent to the country, that determined that the current ruling party in Cambodia outlawed the opposition just before the celebration of elections.
Starting in mid-August, the country will have to pay tariffs on exports of certain types of clothing and footwear. Until now, Cambodia enjoyed a zero tariff under the Everything but Arms (EBA) program. The measure will impact Cambodian exports of one billion euros and will be effective on August 12.
Josep Borrell, a high representative of the Commission for foreign policy said that “the duration, scale and impact of violations of rights to political participation and freedom of expression in Cambodia have left the European Union with the only option to partially withdraw the preferences”.
“The European Union will not stand still observing how democracy has been corroded, human rights restricted, and free debate silenced; for preferences to be reinstated, Cambodian authorities must take the necessary measures”, he added.
The measure impacts exports valued at one billion euros
Europe has also considered strikes against labor rights. Earlier this year, companies such as Adidas, Levi Strauss, Ralph Lauren or Under Armor sent a letter to the country’s government to demand the alignment of labor rights with international standards to avoid losing trade preferences.
Cambodia’s Prime Minister, Hun Sen, responded by saying that the country will not “bow down” to foreign demands, according to Reuters. “We want to be friends and partners of all the countries in the world but if they don’t understand us and want to force us, we don’t agree”, Hun Sen continued.