News / Asia

US Suspends All Economic Sanctions on Burma

US Lifting All Economic Sanctions on Burmai
|| 0:00:00
X
Scott Stearns
May 18, 2012 12:45 AM
The United States is lifting all of its economic sanctions against the military-led government in Burma following the election to parliament of long-time pro-democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports, Washington will be sending its first ambassador to Burma in more than 20 years.

US Lifting All Economic Sanctions on Burma

STATE DEPARTMENT - The United States is lifting all of its economic sanctions against the military-led government in Burma following the election to parliament of long-time pro-democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi. Washington will be sending its first ambassador to Burma in more than 20 years.

 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the suspension of bans on U.S. financial transactions, investments, and access to credit in a meeting with Burmese Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin.


U.S. economic sanctions against Burma, enacted 15 years ago, were suspended by Washington May 17,2012. They include:

  • Visa bans
  • Restrictions on financial services
  • Ban on Burmese imported goods
  • Ban on American investments in Burma
  • Constraints on U.S. assistance to Burma
  • The U.S. arms embargo on Burma stays in effect.

"This is a moment for us to recognize that the progress which has occurred in the last year toward democratization and national reconciliation is irreversible, as the minister said to me. The United States wants to do everything we can to be sure that is the reality," she said. 

 

Secretary Clinton praised the parliamentary elections that brought Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party to parliament, but said some U.S. measures, including an arms embargo, will remain in place until the country's reforms are complete.

 

In a video conference via Skype, hosted by former U.S. president George W. Bush, Aung San Suu Kyi said the suspension of U.S. sanctions against Burma, rather than their full removal, will keep the pressure on the military to stay on track with political reforms.

"I sometimes feel that things, that people are too optimistic about the scene in Burma. You have to remember that the democratization process is not irreversible. I have said very openly that we can never look upon it as irreversible until such time as the military commits itself to democratization," she said. 

In addition to the targeted sanctions, Burma is currently subject to certain sanctions specified in U.S. laws based on various functional issues. They include:

  • Visa bans
  • Restrictions on financial services
  • Ban on Burmese imported goods
  • Ban on American investments in Burma
  • Constraints on U.S. assistance to Burma
  • The U.S. arms embargo on Burma stays in effect.
 

With abundant natural resources, Burma is ripe for new business. And Secretary Clinton called on U.S. investors to look for opportunities across the country to benefit ethnic minority areas as well.

 

"Today we say to American business: Invest in Burma. And do it responsibly. Be an agent of positive change," she said. 

 

Aung San Suu Kyi says spreading new investments more equitably will help ease some of Burma's ethnic inequalities.

 

At Washington's Brookings Institution, Lex Rieffel says too much investment too quickly could overwhelm Burma. "To be successful, this has to be done carefully. What is happening right now is that the country is being over-run with visitors. It is being smothered in love. This is making it more difficult for the government to make good policy decisions," he said. 

 

Some Burmese activists fear the United States is moving too fast. An ASEAN inter-parliament caucus on Burma is urging Washington to maintain all of its business sanctions, warning that a flood of new investment could fuel further human rights abuses and undermine democratic reforms.

You May Like

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid