Total exports of UK goods to the United States, the world’s largest economy in nominal terms, rose sharply in the first quarter of the year to close to $ 1.863 billion, even amid unemployment. production and other problems of Covid.
This was 16.84% higher than the $ 1.594 billion in merchandise exports recorded between January and March 2020, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The Kingdom imported goods worth US $ 106 million during the period, reserving a 25% increase from $ 85 million in the first quarter of 2020.
Bilateral trade increased by more than 17% from $ 1.679 billion to $ 1.969 billion and the trade surplus expanded by more than 16% from $ 1.509 billion to $ 1.757 billion.
The general secretary of the Association of Clothing Manufacturers in Cambodia, Ken Loo, acknowledged that the US is the main buyer of Cambodian garments, textiles and travel items. “Last year the US market was our largest export market, which [accounted for] approximately 40% of our exports “.
With the United States yet to re-authorize the General Preferences System (GSP) trade benefit program after its expiration on December 31, Loo noted that import duties have been applied to all shipments of travel goods that enter the United States from Cambodia.
“The US SGP has expired and we are waiting for its renewal. Although clothing and shoes are not part of the US GSP plan, travel items benefit from the GSP plan, ”he said. “But because that applies to the rest of the countries, it hasn’t had a big impact.”
Speaking at the Cambodia Franchise Expo on May 5, U.S. Ambassador Patrick Murphy said trade and investment flows between the United States and the Kingdom are increasing.
He said more and more American companies come to the Kingdom every year, bringing what he said were ethical business practices, high labor and environmental standards, and strong corporate social responsibility programs that connect with local communities.
The president of the Cambodian American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), Anthony Galliano, said the increase in trade between the two countries was “great news.”
He told The Post on May 17 that with the U.S. recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic faster than EU countries, US trade with the bloc was affected by the expiration of the GSP. .
Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, which grew a “phenomenal” 10.7% in the first quarter of this year, he said. This resulted in an increase in purchases of Cambodian knitwear, leather products, woven clothing, footwear and furniture, he added.
“The bilateral trade relationship is increasing in importance, especially for the Kingdom, as this is one of the few bright spots.
“Cambodia can only benefit from a thriving trade and investment relationship, as the United States is the largest importer of Cambodian goods and the main position is expected to only expand from the rest of the field,” he said. dir Galliano.
The U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh and AmCham are employing a four-point strategic approach to increasing U.S. business and investment in the Kingdom. A joint work plan (JWP) was signed on April 2 between Murphy and Galliano.
Galliano added that the JWP’s goals are to support U.S. companies trading and investing in Cambodia, strengthening the Kingdom’s business climate and advancing economic ties between the United States and Cambodia.
“Although recently signed, there have been concrete actions to achieve these goals: the Cambodia Franchise Expo is an excellent example of progress. AmCham fully embraces the JWP and has the honor of working with the “Embassy of the United States to achieve these ambitions with our full support,” he said.
Cambodia’s exports to the US amounted to 6.5777 billion dollars in 2020, 22.79% more than the 5.3568 billion published in 2019, while imports amounted to 343.6 million dollars, 33.15% more than $ 514 million, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
In 2019, the Kingdom was the 100th largest merchandise export market in the United States and the 44th largest supplier of merchandise imports, the office reported.