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

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee 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.
US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Paradei
X
Anush Avetisyan
November 26, 2014 10:57 PM
Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid