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PHNOM PENH - About 90,000 garment workers in Cambodia could lose their jobs if proposed European Union trade sanctions cause fashion brands to pull out of the country, according to business leaders and workers' rights groups.

The garment industry is Cambodia's largest employer, employing 700,000 people and generating US$7 billion annually, but is already in decline after the EU began a process which could see tariffs reintroduced next August.

The European Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia estimates that 90,000 jobs would be at risk if the EU suspends special trade preferences over Cambodia's record on democracy and human rights.

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