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The U.S. Suspends a Main Commerce Deal With Myanmar as It Steps Up Penalties for the Coup

The U.S. Suspends a Major Trade Deal With Myanmar as It Steps Up Penalties for the Coup


WASHINGTON — The US on Monday suspended a commerce cope with Myanmar till a democratic authorities is restored within the Southeast Asian nation after a Feb. 1 coup adopted by a violent crackdown on protests.

The army overthrew the elected authorities, jailed Aung San Suu Kyi and different civilian leaders and has killed and imprisoned protesters within the nation also referred to as Burma.

“The US helps the individuals of Burma of their efforts to revive a democratically elected authorities,” U.S. Commerce Consultant Katherine Tai mentioned in an announcement. “The US strongly condemns the Burmese safety forces’ brutal violence in opposition to civilians. The killing of peaceable protestors, college students, staff, labor leaders, medics, and youngsters has shocked the conscience of the worldwide group.”

Tai’s workplace mentioned the US was instantly suspending “all U.S. engagement with Burma beneath the 2013 Commerce and Funding Framework Settlement.” Beneath the settlement, the 2 international locations cooperated on commerce and funding points in an effort to combine Myanmar into the worldwide financial system, a reward for the army’s determination to permit a return to democracy — a transition that ended abruptly with final month’s coup.

Tai’s announcement Monday doesn’t cease commerce between the 2 international locations.

However the US is individually imposing financial sanctions on Myanmar. In response to the army takeover, as an illustration, the US and the UK had earlier imposed sanctions on two conglomerates managed by Myanmar’s army, Myanmar Financial Holdings Ltd. and Myanmar Financial Corp.

White Home press secretary Jen Psaki famous that the U.S. has additionally slapped export controls on Burma and added a number of Burmese companies to a commerce blacklist. “We, after all, proceed to work with our allies and companions and like-minded establishments, as we condemn the actions of the army, name for the speedy restoration of democracy, and maintain those that seize energy accountable,” she mentioned.

Two-way commerce between the 2 international locations doesn’t quantity to a lot: Myanmar final 12 months was the US’ 84th largest associate within the commerce of products akin to vehicles and equipment. U.S. items exports to Burma got here to simply $338 million; imports to $1 billion.

However the U.S. and different rich nations are main importers of clothes and different home goods from Myanmar factories, principally owned by corporations from different international locations, which have led the modernization of the impoverished nation’s financial system, serving to present hundreds of thousands of jobs.

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Related Press author Josh Boak contributed to this report.