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19 December 2017
- With Prime Minister HE publicly daring Western countries to impose sanctions in response to the recent dissolution of the country’s main opposition, the minister of commerce has quietly expressed concern at the staggering customs bill Cambodia would incur should the EU suspend its preferential trade treatment, a leaked letter to the premier shows.
The EU Parliament on Friday passed a resolution calling for a review of Cambodia’s Everything But Arms (EBA) trade preferences, even suggesting a temporary withdrawal. The EBA allows tariff-free imports to the economic bloc on account of Cambodia’s least developed country status.
The resolution prompted a fiery response from HE, who on Sunday said he would not be a “dog that acts just for only a bone or a piece of meat”, and dared the EU to “cut it!”
However, in a leaked letter dated December 4, Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak informs the prime minister that removal of these preferences would incur a $676 million tariff cost based on the $6.2 billion in exports to the EU in 2016. Suspension of preferential access to the US market for certain goods would incur a $10 million bill, he added...
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national-p ... -sanctions
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- Sir Duncan
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Like the spoilt child she is, she will not be happy till she destroys herself from within and breaks your heart.
They all love to grandstand, don't they?
The EU doesn't want to do this, but *might*, if the big man doesn't play ball.
If he really pissed off the EU, and they yanked the carpet out from under him, what would his nobles do, with his advanced status?
Initially stand by his side, most likely, since most wouldn't feel it for a while, I imagine. China might step in even further, VN would watch, and Europeans in Cambodia feel a pinch?
This political brinksmanship by the EU is unusual.
I guess the move would be for the Big Man to allow a token election, which he would win, undoubtedly, but requires a "going through the motions" and attention to politics for while. Distracting, and both somewhat heartening and disunifying that there would be a chance of change. All these Cambodians want to do is focus on their failing businesses, haha, or advancing their concerns as best they can.
Perhaps some good will come of this EU move, much like the reforms adopted from the opposition party last time.
Perhaps the EU just wants to ensure a "precedence," that a one-party system should not exist, and is willing to threaten economic disruption just to have the model of democracy in place.
I see in the long term there being talk of "free and fair" elections later, AFTER the changing of the guard, haha. The EU may want to see an election AFTER the OVERLY CLEVER ONE. Hmm ...
GAMES AND GAMBITS
Games and gambits ... how will the Eastern side respond? How will the Cambodian nobles eventually respond? How cohesive is the political party the Big Man built, with each other?
I don't think there'll be total bedlam after the next phase, but neither do I trust wholly in all the nobles to perform for national interest without some sort of order in place. I wonder if there's a hidden ace in the wings, with all the right answers and moves? I wonder if Beijing and Hanoi are concerned, or are the Big and Little Dragons barely batting an eye?
If the EU really got miffed? Trouble. But I hear they never really get upset, they just want to see the basics of a functioning election, then they'll be happy.
If the Big Man does thumb his nose at the EU ... standoff, right?
Ah, the Big Man's legacy is at stake. Will he still be remembered as the Man with Many Friends, diplomatic and compromising?
Or will he be an Old Man of Asia, independent, strong, and a bit defiant?
Not if there's a fire, not even if you hear the sound of a thud from my home and one week later there's a smell coming from there that can only be a decaying human body and you have to hold a hanky to your face because the stench is so thick that you think you're going to faint.
Even then, don't come knocking...Not for ANY reason.
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