Business as usual? Governing the supply chain in clothing - Post MFA phase-out: The case of Cambodia

Doug Miller, Veasna Nuon, Charlene Aprill, Ramon Certeza, 2009

Name of publisher/editor

Tim Wallace

Geographic area




Summary & key words

In 1999 the US-Cambodia Bilateral Textile Agreement linked quota access in the US market to factories' compliance with international labour standards, as monitored by the (now named) ‘Better Factories Programme’ of the International Labour Organization. Many have hailed this a breakthrough model for linking development with improvements in labour standards. This working paper seeks to critically assess the operation of the ‘Better Factories Programme’ and concludes that although the Cambodian apparel sector is faring better than expected following the expiry of the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing in 2004, this may have less to do the industry’s sophisticated monitoring system, than a low propensity on the part of Cambodian garment manufacturers to improve on the key issues of low wages and excessive working hours and an alternative supply base - at least until 2008 - for a quota restrained China. 


Subject (Categories)

economic social