The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) is disappointed with the EU’s safeguard clause that imposes tariffs on Cambodia rice imports.
The ministry stated that it regrets the EU’s decision since it doesn’t take into account international trade law perspectives, technical aspects, or previous cooperation between Cambodia and the EU – on government and private sector levels.
“In nearly 15 years as a member of World Trade Organisation the total trade between Cambodia and the EU has increased remarkably with an annual average growth rate of 60 percent,” stated the MOC.
Furthermore, Cambodia and the EU have discussed and resolved various issues through bilateral cooperation and multi-committee mechanisms in March of 2018 in Brussels.
The MOC continued: “As a result of the good cooperation, [the MOC] has supported merchants and investors from the EU to gain trust [in us], to invest and do business in Cambodia. These investments have benefitted thousands of poor farmers in Cambodia by raising their incomes with rice exports to the EU …”
The use of the safeguard clause to impose tariffs on rice (Indica Rice) from Cambodia will affect the income of the poor farmers; this is a weapon to kill them and their families … [especially those in debt with loans from financial institutions].”
The ministry is looking into the legal perspective of appealing against the EU’s decision, which Cambodians find unfair and against the socio-economic reality.
“The MOC will join the 16million people who call on the European Commission to recheck their decision based on the international trade measures and the cooperation between Cambodia and European Union.”