The European Union has begun to reimpose customs duty on certain exports from Cambodia in response to what it said are concerns about the Southeast Asian country’s human rights record.
The European Commission, which supervises trade deals and relations on behalf of the 27 member nations of the world’s biggest trading bloc, said the duties would be put on clothes, footwear and travel goods.
Cambodian government spokesman Phay Siphan said the country would not compromise on matters of national principle to avoid the EU measures.
He said the government had prepared for the loss of 20 percent of its EU tariff privileges through measures to help garment factory workers and others who would be affected.
The commission announced in February that it planned to withdraw key tariff preferences amounting to about one-fifth of the 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) worth of Cambodian exports that go to the EU each year due to “serious and systematic concerns related to human rights.”
Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan said the EU gave Cambodia opportunities to develop its export industry and create jobs, and that the bloc would continue to provide help to combat the impact of the coronavirus in the country.