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Terms of Trade: EU Is in a Bind Over Human Rights in Cambodia

Nov. 12, 2019, 12:00 PM

The European Union and Cambodia moved closer to a confrontation that may be a litmus test for whether EU free trade helps promote free societies.

The European Commission Nov. 12 sent the Cambodian government a report on alleged human-rights violations. The submission is part of an EU threat to suspend Cambodia’s right to export all goods except weapons duty-free and quota-free to the bloc, the world’s biggest single market.

“We are very concerned about the human-rights situation there,” EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said on Twitter. 

The commission is due to decide in February whether to revoke — at least in...

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