Tith Rithipul, undersecretary of state and acting director general of international trade at the Ministry of Commerce, met with a US Trade Representative (USTR) delegation led by Wallis Yu, director for Southeast Asia and Pacific affairs, on May 18 to discuss the current state of trade between the US and Cambodia.

According to the commerce ministry, the talks were also attended by representatives from the US embassy.

During the meeting, Yu highlighted key points in the Cambodia-US trade and investment framework agreement (TIFA) and asked for updates on the intellectual property, trade dispute resolution and labour dispute resolution situation.

Rithipul updated her on these areas, noting that the ministry has played an active part in strengthening the protection and promotion of the intellectual property sector through Cambodia's joining ratification of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, the completion of a draft law on confidential information and trade secrets, a draft sub-decree on administrative measures for the implementation of Cambodian intellectual property, and the investigation and suppression of counterfeit goods found in Cambodian markets.

He also briefed Yu on the Cambodian government’s efforts to settle out-of-court labour disputes, based on win-win principles and the adoption of additional international obligations, including the renewal of the Better Factories Cambodia (BFC) programme between the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Commerce, relevant institutions and the International Labour Organization (ILO), in October 2022.

The commerce ministry noted that the leaders of the Joint Council of TIFA, who last met at the ASEAN Economic Ministers' Meeting in Siem Reap in October 2022, had agreed to set an appropriate date for the sixth Meeting of the Joint Council, which will be held in the US.

Both sides will continue to address important affairs at the technical working group level.

Rithipul hoped that the two sides would continue to strengthen and boost bilateral trade and investment cooperation.