The United States has eased restrictions to allow U.S. companies to responsibly do business in Burma. President Thein Sein, Aung San Suu Kyi and the people of Burma continue to make significant progress along the path to democracy, and the government has continued to make important economic and political reforms. Easing sanctions is a strong signal of the United States’ support for reform, and will provide immediate incentives for reformers and significant benefits to the people of Burma.
Burma’s political and economic reforms remain unfinished. The United States Government remains deeply concerned about the lack of transparency in Burma’s investment environment and the military’s role in the economy. The armed forces and Ministry of Defense-owned entities are not covered by the recent easing of restrictions. In addition, U.S. companies will be asked to report on their activities in line with international corporate governance standards. President Obama has also signed a new Executive Order that expands the Secretary of the Treasury’s existing sanctions authorities to those who undermine the reform process, engage in human rights abuses, contribute to ethnic conflict, or participate in military trade with North Korea. This Order is a clear message to Burmese government and military officials: those individuals who continue to engage in abusive, corrupt, or destabilizing behavior going forward will not reap the rewards of reform.
Though products of Burmese origin had been banned from entry into the United States in the past, on November 16, 2012, the U.S. Department of Treasury issued General License No. 18, which allows the importation into the United States of any article that is a product of Burma, with the exception of jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from Burma, or of articles of jewelry containing jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from Burma. For more information please visit http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/burmagl18.pdf.