President Biden’s participation in the annual US-ASEAN Summit and East Asia Summit (EAS) will take place November 12-13 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, ASEAN Chairman 2022. In 1950 , the United States was among the first nations to recognize Cambodia, and our two peoples share an enduring friendship. The United States values cooperation with Cambodia on a range of issues, including condemnation of Russia’s war on Ukraine, implementation of UN Security Council sanctions, including sanctions against the DPRK, law enforcement cooperation to combat transnational crime, and Cambodia’s support for elevating the US-ASEAN relationship with a comprehensive strategic partnership. We continue to stress in Cambodia that the strengthening of our bilateral relations will depend on Phnom Penh taking concrete steps to improve respect for human rights and democratic processes and to address widespread concerns about the PRC’s military presence in Ream naval base.
United States-Cambodia relations
- The relationship between the United States and Cambodia is built on strong historical and cultural ties. Cooperation on United Nations issues and assistance programs have helped Cambodia achieve the stability and prosperity envisioned in the 1992 Paris Peace Accords ending the civil war and continue to facilitate collaboration on bilateral, regional and global issues.
- The United States supports Cambodia’s role as the 2022 ASEAN Chair and commends its stance in upholding the UN Charter, upholding territorial integrity, and co-sponsoring UN resolutions condemning the large-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February and its attempt to annex Ukrainian territory.
- The United States urges Cambodia to respect its constitution and to prohibit exclusive control of its territory by any foreign country, including at the Ream naval base.
- The United States is committed to the Cambodian people and their aspirations for a prosperous, democratic, and independent country. We urge Cambodia to take meaningful steps to reopen political and civic space, including resolving the protracted trial of opposition leader Kem Sokha and releasing other detained political and civil society activists, including the citizen Cambodian-American Seng Theary. We also urge Cambodia to address systemic corruption and human trafficking, which hinder Cambodia’s development, and resolve the ongoing labor dispute between NagaWorld and one of the country’s largest trade unions.
American aid to Cambodia
- With U.S. support, Cambodia has experienced decades of robust economic growth and made significant progress toward achieving its Sustainable Development Goals, including reducing poverty, addressing the remnants of past conflicts, and successfully navigating the global pandemic.
- Over the past 30 years, the United States has provided $3 billion in foreign assistance for health, education, food security, economic growth, national reconciliation, democracy and human rights , the environment and demining.
- The United States has also supported child nutrition and literacy; promoted international labor standards and conditions; and provided training on child protection, the implementation of UN Security Council sanctions, including the DPRK sanctions regime, anti-money laundering and anti-trafficking some people.
- Public health assistance in Cambodia has addressed infant and maternal mortality, malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, and strengthened health systems. Successful U.S. cooperation has reduced malaria deaths to zero since 2017, removed Cambodia from the World Health Organization’s list of 30 countries with the highest TB burden, and controlled malaria. HIV epidemic with a general prevalence in the adult population of only 0.6%.
- U.S. agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Navy, and Department of State have helped Cambodia stay healthy during the pandemic of COVID-19 and prepare for future outbreaks by building workforce capacity. , establishing surveillance, providing technical assistance and contributing more than $15 million in additional emergency assistance and three million doses of safe and effective vaccines donated in partnership with COVAX.
- Cambodia has made long-standing efforts to provide a full account of US personnel missing from the Vietnam War era. We also acknowledge with satisfaction that Cambodia permitted the disembarkation of the cruise ship MS Westerdam at the start of the 2020 global pandemic, providing safe haven for over 1,200 passengers and crew.
Economic ties between the United States and Cambodia
- The United States and Cambodia meet regularly under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) of 2006, which provides a platform to discuss bilateral and multilateral economic issues.
- In 2021, US imports from Cambodia were $8.7 billion and US exports were $414 million. The United States is by far Cambodia’s largest export market, accounting for over 40% of Cambodia’s total exports.
- The apparel, footwear, and travel goods sectors make up the bulk of U.S. imports from Cambodia and employ more than one million Cambodians, mostly women. Top U.S. exports to Cambodia include vehicles, animal feed, and digital services.
- Many Cambodians were educated in the United States or have personal ties to our country – including as dual citizens or with relatives among the 300,000 Cambodian-Americans.
- The United States engages Cambodian youth, women, and ethnic, religious, and minority populations, as well as persons with disabilities, to advocate for inclusive governance; make the voice of civil society heard; promote democratic principles and civil and political rights; and engage with entrepreneurs to improve regional interconnectivity and increase business opportunities in the United States.
- U.S. exchange and assistance programs, including the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), Fulbright, teaching of English and the Peace Corps, have built the capacity of future leaders, benefited rural and indigenous communities, and improved the livelihoods of millions of Cambodians.
- The United States and Cambodia have a long history of partnership in preserving and protecting Cambodia’s cultural heritage. As part of our longstanding bilateral cultural property agreement, the United States has facilitated the return of looted Khmer artifacts and supported the preservation of Cambodian cultural heritage sites and collections, including at the Angkor Archaeological Park.