U.S. Congress passes Burma sanctions
The U.S. Congress has sent President Bush a bill to renew the ban on imports from Burma because of the military regime’s human rights violations. The government denied much needed foreign aid to enter the country following a devastating cyclone earlier this year.
On Thursday, the Senate passed the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act following a voice vote in the House a day earlier. The legislation must be renewed on an annual basis and was set to expire July 26.
Congress also approved last week legislation designed to keep gems from Burma, now called Myanmar, including jade and rubies, from entering U.S. markets via third countries.
The American Apparel & Footwear Association applauded the sanctions.
“It is unfortunate that more countries have not followed the United States in implementing economic sanctions against the Burmese junta,' AAFA President Kevin Burke said in a statement. 'As long as the world is willing to do business with the military junta ruling Burma, progress and hope for the Burmese people will be stymied.'