BRUSSELS – The European Union is launching action that could see it suspend Cambodia's preferential access to the EU market over the deterioration of human rights and the rule of law in the country.
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said Monday "there are severe deficiencies when it comes to human rights and labor rights in Cambodia that the government needs to tackle if it wants to keep its country's privileged access to our market."
The move is allowed under the "everything but arms" arrangement the EU has with developing countries. It grants duty-free and quota-free access to the European market for things other than weapons.
The Commission is starting six months of intensive monitoring and will report on its findings. It could decide in one year to withdraw Cambodia's trade preferences.