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

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Nigerian Islamic School Tries to Combat Boko Haram

Kaduna school headmaster teaches his students that what militants are doing is are doing is 'a total misunderstanding of the Islamic religion' More

University Trains Students to Advocate for Deaf People Worldwide

Program prepares graduates to advocate internationally for access to education, jobs for people with disabilities 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid