House Votes to Extend Ban on Imports from Burma
On a voice vote the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday voted to approve legislation (H.J. Res. 44) that would renew for one year the import restrictions on Burma (Myanmar) that were originally enacted in the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note). The Senate Finance Committee favorably reported similar legislation on Monday as well (S.J. Res. 16).
The Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act prohibits the importation into the U.S. of items of Burmese origin. The President may waive these sanctions once a series of human rights, democracy and counter-narcotics requirements have been met. While the Secretary of State has been granted the authority to act on behalf of the President in issuing such waivers, no waivers have been granted since the import ban took effect on August 27, 2003.
Update: On July 24, 2007, the Senate voted to approve H.J. Res. 44 by a vote of 93-1. Senator Enzi (R-WY) was the only Senator to vote against the resolution. The Joint Resolution has been sent to the President.