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It now appears to have been superseded by Congressman Jim McDermott’s New Partnership for Trade Development Act of 2009, which was brought to the floor this month and is under consideration by the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

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the