A prominent Cambodian unionist has threatened to protest on a large-scale if the newly formed government ignores a European Union resolution that threatens to end Cambodia’s tariff-free access to EU markets. Rong Chhun, President of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions (CCU) and a former National Election Committee member has urged the government to take action to prevent Cambodia’s suspension from the Everything But Arms preferential trade scheme.
The EU is Cambodia's largest export market, with garment exports to the EU alone amounting to about $700 million annually. The government has claimed that it would find other markets to export Cambodian products to if it is excluded from the EBA scheme. But no other markets come close to meeting the demand, with the position of the second-largest export market, the US, also in question. Together, exports to the EU and US make up the vast majority of all Cambodian textiles exports.