Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Karan Bhatia and Cambodian Minister of Commerce
Cham Prasidh signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) today that
will help enhance trade and investment between the two countries and provide a
forum to address bilateral trade issues.
"We welcome Cambodia into our family of TIFA partners in Southeast Asia,"
said Ambassador Bhatia. " We look forward to building our trade and investment
relations under this dialogue, working more closely on regional and WTO issues,
and helping Cambodia fully implement its WTO obligations."
Under the TIFA, the two countries will consider ways to expand and liberalize
trade and investment between the United States and Cambodia. They also will
discuss such issues as intellectual property rights, trade facilitation and
customs, and implementation of Cambodia’s World Trade Organization (WTO)
commitments. In addition, the TIFA dialogue will provide a forum for closer
cooperation on bilateral, regional and WTO issues.
The U.S. –
Cambodia TIFA will advance President Bush’s Enterprise for Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Initiative, which seeks to deepen U.S. economic
and trade linkages with the commercially and strategically vital Southeast Asian
region. The United States already has TIFAs with Brunei, Indonesia, and the
Philippines and is negotiating a TIFA with ASEAN. In addition, the United States
has a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Singapore and is negotiating FTAs with
Malaysia and Thailand.
U.S. exports to Cambodia increased 18 percent to nearly $70 million in the
past year and have increased steadily since Cambodia joined the WTO in October
2004. Major U.S. exports to Cambodia include automobiles, machinery, textile
articles, and fats and oils. U.S. imports from Cambodia totaled $1.7 billion in
2005, comprised largely of knit and woven apparel and prepared meat and
Cambodia is one of the ten members of ASEAN, whose 570 million people
purchased over $ 50 billion in U.S. goods last year. Two-way trade between the
United States and ASEAN has grown dramatically over the past decade, and in 2005
totaled $150 billion, making ASEAN America’s fourth-largest trading partner.