The American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham Cambodia) on Wednesday voiced concerns over the introduction of the Cambodia Trade Act raised in January by US senators, saying it is unacceptable and counterproductive.
In January, US senators Ted Cruz and Chris Coons introduced the Cambodian Trade Act of 2019, which would require the US government to review the preferential trade treatment Cambodia receives under the GSP system, according to a press release from Senator Cruz.
AmCham Cambodia said in a letter on Wednesday that the primary effects of GSP removal will be felt by factory workers and their families whose livelihoods depend on the trade supported by the preference, noting that American businesses will also suffer from a perceived lack of stability in the Cambodian economy and a further degradation of the trade relationship between the nations.
“The American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia is deeply concerned by the introduction of the ‘‘Cambodia Trade Act of 2019’’ by Sen. Chris Coons, Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Lowenthal and Rep. Chabot. While we know the desire of our honorable lawmakers to pressure the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) for domestic political actions viewed as unacceptable, we believe this approach to be counterproductive,” said the letter signed by Chairman and Board members of the AmCham Cambodia.
“We believe the use of the GSP review process as a means for sending a political message, which is unrelated to the spirit of the 1974 Trade Act, will drastically decrease the goodwill and progress this system has created among the ordinary Cambodian citizens,” it said.