United States Removes Economic Sanctions on Burma/Myanmar

October 11, 2016

Following a White House visit by Burmese/Myanma State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in September, President Obama signed an executive order on October 7, 2016 concluding 19 years of U.S. economic sanctions against Burma/Myanmar. The executive order revokes six previous executive orders authorizing sanctions against the country and waives the blocking and financial sanctions of the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE (Junta’s Anti-Democratic Efforts) Act of 2008.

Beginning in 1997, various executive orders and administrations declared national emergencies in Burma/Myanmar and imposed economic sanctions designed to promote democracy in the country. Pursuant to these measures, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published the Burmese Sanctions Regulations (BSR), prohibiting U.S. persons from transacting with many of Burma/Myanmar’s leading entities.

The Obama administration has slowly eased economic sanctions against Burma/Myanmar throughout the year. Our coverage of prior easing of sanctions may be accessed online here. In a statement announcing the termination of the sanctions program as a whole, President Obama noted, “I have determined that the situation that gave rise to the national emergency with respect to Burma has been significantly altered by Burma's substantial advances to promote democracy, including … greater enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms[.]”

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