Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Delegation fails in US duty-free access bid

Delegation fails in US duty-free access bid

Delegation fails in US duty-free access bid

A Cambodian delegation dispatched to Washington to obtain duty-free status for garment exports to the United States returned empty-handed Monday, said Ken Loo, secretary general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC).

“We have not reached an agreement. It is not easy to make progress with so much foreign competition,” he said.

The delegation, led by Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh, who declined to comment when he returned Monday, had planned to use the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Bilateral Textile Agreement between the two countries as leverage.

GMAC has long been pushing for duty-free access to the key US market, which takes around 70 percent of total garment exports. Its preferred route has been through US Senator Dianne Feinstein’s Trade Act of 2009, which extends duty-free access to 14 least developed countries, including Cambodia. Few give the bill, which is currently before the US senate’s finance committee, much hope.

It now appears to have been superseded by Congressman Jim McDermott’s New Partnership for Trade Development Act of 2009, which was brought to the floor this month and is under consideration by the house of representatives’ ways and Means Committee. The legislation calls for “least-developed” countries to be able to export to the US 50 percent of their total 2007 exports without duties.

Garment exports to the US have fallen 28.77 percent year on year to US$1.12 billion over the first nine months of the year, Ministry of Commerce figures show.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said