US and Cambodia Discuss Expanded Trade
The United States and Cambodia met last week under their Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) to discuss ways to further expand trade and investment between them.
The US used the meeting to update Cambodia on the Trump administration’s priorities on trade, including on enforcement, lowering the trade deficit, and opening new markets, and to underscore the importance the administration places on deepening trade ties with countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Cambodia.
During the TIFA meeting, the US and Cambodia agreed to work together to address outstanding bilateral trade issues, including related to labor, intellectual property protection, and financial services. They agreed to specific follow-up actions in the coming months and the establishment of working groups on labor, intellectual property, services and digital trade, and trade facilitation. They also discussed sanitary and phytosanitary issues and reviewed Cambodia’s implementation the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, as well as its participation in the WTO Information Technology Agreement.
The TIFA meeting, which was chaired by Assistant US Trade Representative Barbara Weisel and Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak, also included officials from a wide range of agencies, including the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, State, and Treasury, and the US Agency for International Development. For Cambodia, participants included Cambodian Ambassador to the United States Chum Bunrong, officials from the ministries of Commerce, Economy and Finance, Post and Telecommunication, Labor and Vocational Training, Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, as well as from the National Bank of Cambodia and General Directorate of Custom and Excise.
The US trade-in-goods deficit with Cambodia was $2.5 billion in 2016. Two-way trade between the US and Cambodia totaled $3.2 billion in 2016. US goods exports totaled $361 million, including vehicles, machinery, food waste, animal feed, fur, and non-woven textiles. US agricultural exports to Cambodia totaled $52 million last year, including soybean meal, distillers grains, hides and skins, prepared food, and beef products. US imports from Cambodia totaled $2.8 billion, including knit and woven apparel, footwear, plastics, and leather products. The U.S. imported $23 million in agricultural products from Cambodia last year, including fruit and vegetables, rice, and other products.