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Rice federation to argue against European tariffs on Cambodian exports

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A worker carries a bag of rice inside a rice mill in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

Rice federation to argue against European tariffs on Cambodian exports

The Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF) announced on Wednesday it planned to argue on the international stage against EU tariffs on Cambodian rice exports, saying the decision will cause the Kingdom to lose its competitiveness and hurt its ability to sustain itself.

According to CRF’s statement, imposing tariffs on Cambodian rice to the EU is a regressive move.

“The decision to impose tariffs is happening too quickly, Cambodian rice will need more time to be strong enough to fully compete against other rice without being tariff free,” it read.

The statement did not outline in detail the procedures it would take to negotiate over the EU’s decision.

Despite mentioning in the release that it will find ways to lower production costs across the rice sector to cope with the financial blow, CRF has not yet provided further details on how it will do so.

CRF also said it will aim to build a brand name for Cambodian premium fragrant rice, Angkor Malis, in the international market, and urged Cambodian people to buy local rice to grow the market.

The Cambodian rice sector lost its duty-free export status to the EU last Friday after the bloc decided to impose tariffs on rice from Cambodia and Myanmar to curb a surge in such imports they say was undercutting European production.

The decision will be in effect for three years, during which the tariff rate will be steadily reduced.

The sector will be forced to pay approximately $53 million in the first year based on the amount the Kingdom exported to the EU last year.

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