EU External Trade: Burma

Department for International Trade written question – answered on 14th November 2018.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment, if any, they have made of the impact of the proposed withdrawal of EU Everything But Arms trade privileges on (1) Burma, (2) the Burmese military, and (3) civilian workers in Burma.

Photo of Baroness Fairhead Baroness Fairhead The Minister of State, Department for International Trade

We are working with Member States and are in discussions with the Commission on this issue. The assessment must ensure that a thorough consideration of the impacts is made before any decision is taken.

Since 2012, when the EU granted Burma duty-free, quota-free market access on “Everything But Arms”, EU imports from Burma rose by almost ten times to €1,558 million in 2017. Most of the EU’s imports are of textiles and apparels, which have created substantial employment opportunities for women in Burma, and which would be subject to tariffs if the EU withdraws ‘Everything But Arms’ preferences.

Any decision to suspend preferences would need to be thoroughly assessed, bearing in mind the impact it could have on Burma’s poor.

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