Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - US bilateral trade discussed

US bilateral trade discussed

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Assistant US Trade Representative for the Office of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Karl Ehlers (left), meets with Minister of Industry and handicraft Cham Prasidh on Wednesday. MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY AND HANDICRAFT

US bilateral trade discussed

A delegation from the US Trade Representative and the US Department of State is visiting Cambodia this week to discuss bilateral trade issues, including automobile standards and the Kingdom’s labour situation.

The four-day visit from June 3-7 is headed by Assistant US Trade Representative for the Office of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Karl Ehlers, and Assistant US Trade Representative for Labor Affairs, Lewis Karesh.

During the visit, the delegation met with the Minister of Industry and Handicraft Cham Prasidh and Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak to discuss issues pertaining to the US-Cambodia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement.

During the meeting on Wednesday, Sorasak said the Cambodian government expressed its thanks to the US for its provision of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) agreement for the Kingdom’s travel goods exports to the US market.

“The US providing tax preferences also attract more of their investors to Cambodia such as Tumi Holdings Inc,” he said.

Review of preferential tariffs

According to the latest trade data from the US government, Cambodian exports from January to March amounted to $1.12 billion – up 24 per cent from $903.6 million during the same period last year.

The visit coincided with the EU delegation in Cambodia, which is discussing the Everything But Arms agreement with the government. It is considered a good sign which will ease tensions in both the Kingdom’s current trade and political situation.

US embassy spokesman Arend C Zwartjes declined to comment on whether the US trade delegation would be positively influenced by the Cambodian government’s recent political decisions.

However, he previously told The Post in May that the US remains concerned about perceived human rights issues in the Kingdom and the alleged weakening of democratic institutions.

It is uncertain whether the US will review its preferential tariff arrangements with Cambodia.

The US remains Cambodia’s largest single export market and Cambodia is a beneficiary of duty-free market access under the US’ GSP programme.

Top Cambodian exports to the US include textiles and footwear, while US exports to Cambodia are vehicles, animal feed and machinery.

Assistant Ehlers told Sorasak during their meeting that Cambodia is the eighth-largest beneficiary of the GSP programme.

“This progress reflects a positive sign in the Kingdom’s garment and footwear sector,” he said, adding that there will be further negotiations to strengthen the cooperation between the two countries on trade and investment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Rainsy vow to return on Nov 9 dismissed as ‘political warfare’

    An announcement from the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) that its “acting president” Sam Rainsy would return to the Kingdom on November 9 was dismissed on Sunday as “political warfare”. The CNRP made the announcement on Friday after a permanent committee meeting chaired by

  • Kingdom rejects VN request

    Cambodia rebuffed Vietnam’s request to provide nationality to its citizens living in Kratie, Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri and Stung Treng provinces, with officials saying law enforcement is the Kingdom’s responsibility. Chheang Vun, the head of the National Assembly’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation,

  • Official transferred after pointing at car with foot

    The deputy director of the Siem Reap provincial Registration and Driver’s Licence Unit at the Department of Public Works and Transport who last week pointed at the number plate of a car taken in for a technical check with her foot has been transferred.

  • PM sues Rainsy in Paris court

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and Dy Vichea, the deputy chief of the National Police, filed lawsuits against Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), for defamation in a Parisian court on Tuesday. The court action comes after Rainsy,