News / Asia

Burma President Ends US Trip With Trade Deal

In front of a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr., Burma President Thein Sein meets with President Barack Obama, not pictured, the White House, Washington, May 20, 2013.In front of a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr., Burma President Thein Sein meets with President Barack Obama, not pictured, the White House, Washington, May 20, 2013.
x
In front of a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr., Burma President Thein Sein meets with President Barack Obama, not pictured, the White House, Washington, May 20, 2013.
In front of a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr., Burma President Thein Sein meets with President Barack Obama, not pictured, the White House, Washington, May 20, 2013.
VOA News
Burmese President Thein Sein has ended a landmark visit to Washington by securing a trade agreement with the Obama administration and meeting several prominent members of Congress.
 
A member of Thein Sein's delegation, deputy Burmese commerce minister Pwint San, signed the agreement with acting U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis on Tuesday.
 
Marantis' office said the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement calls for the United States and Burma to identify business "initiatives" that support ongoing Burmese reforms and development projects that benefit the Burmese people, including the poorest. No specifics were provided.
 
Burma wants the United States to lift remaining sanctions on Burmese products and encourage U.S. businesses to invest in the Southeast Asian nation. The United States imported just $1 million worth of Burmese products in the first quarter of this year, while exporting $89 million worth of U.S. products to Burma. Burmese trade with the world totaled about $20 billion last year.

  • President Barack Obama shakes hands with Burma's President Thein Sein at the Oval Office of the White House, Washington, May 20, 2013. 
  • President Barack Obama sits with Burma's President Thein Sein in the Oval Office at the White House, Washington, May 20, 2013.
  • Burmese President Thein Sein is given flowers outside a town hall meeting at Voice of America, Washington, May 19, 2013. (Alison Klein for VOA)
  • Burmese President Thein Sein attends a town hall meeting at Voice of America, Washington, May 19, 2013. (Alison Klein for VOA)
  • Protesters outside the Voice of America prior to Burmese president Thein Sein's visit, May 19, 2013. (Alison Klein for VOA)
  • Burmese President Thein Sein attends a town hall meeting at Voice of America, Washington, May 19, 2013. (Alison Klein for VOA)

Before departing Washington on Tuesday, President Thein Sein also met with several lawmakers who have influenced U.S. relations with Burma, including Senators Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham. There was no immediate word on what they discussed.
 
Some U.S. lawmakers have said they will try to slow the process of lifting U.S. sanctions on Burma to keep the pressure on Thein Sein to release more political dissidents and stop alleged rights abuses against Burma's ethnic minorities.
 
The U.S. Trade Representative's office said it also will work with the Thein Sein government to make further improvements in the protection of worker rights.
 
During a Monday meeting at the White House, President Barack Obama praised the ex-military general for leading a series of dramatic political and economic reforms since taking office in 2011.
 
"We very much appreciate your efforts and leadership in leading Myanmar in a new direction and we want you to know that the United States will make every effort to assist you on what I know is a long and sometimes difficult but ultimately correct path to follow," he said.
 
Besides offering economic benefits, President Thein Sein's trip also has important symbolic value. He is the first Burmese head-of-state to visit the U.S. in nearly 50 years.
 
Some rights groups argue that offering such a distinction to Burma's military dominated government sends the wrong message and wastes valuable leverage that could be used to push for more democratic reforms.

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Nashwan from: yemen
May 23, 2013 3:24 AM
hello there
is that the reward for the Burmese for oppressing the national Muslims there , why they didn't even talk about that matter why why and why ???????

by: Daniel Nyinyi from: Myanamar
May 22, 2013 10:50 AM
Please see what is really happening in Myanmar.One who will comment on Myanmar needs to see from all sides.

by: Aung Minn from: Sterling, Virginia, U.S.A
May 22, 2013 6:42 AM
There is still no sign of justice for minority Indian and bi-racial Muslims who lost lives and homes from the attacks by Buddhist monks and mob. There is no federal crime or law enforcement for hate crimes by Buddhists against Muslims. In fact, some Muslims who lost everything will be imprisoned for 14 years for starting the riots. There is no punishment for Buddhists who killed and destroyed many. Thein Sein can be given some credits for making improvements which was better than nothing. Generals are still behind the curtain. It is better than civil war to come up with gradual changes.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs