U.S. imposes fresh export controls on Myanmar over military coup
The United States on Thursday announced new export restrictions for Myanmar, and blocked the country's defense and home affairs ministries and other entities from some types of trade.
The big picture: The new rules come in response to the escalating military crackdown on anti-coup protesters in Myanmar.
- Protests erupted after the country's military leaders overthrew its democratically elected government on Feb. 1.
- Police and military officials have killed at least 54 people and "arbitrarily" detained over 1,700 during the anti-coup protests, according to the United Nations human rights commissioner.
- "The junta is using existing draconian provisions of the Penal Code to crack down on freedom of expression," the UN special rapporteur said in a report Thursday.
Details: The new rules include a more restrictive review of license applications for exports and reexports involving sensitive items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to any end user in Myanmar.
- Exports of items intended for military use are subjected to additional restrictions under the EAR, with applications reviewed "under a presumption of denial."
- The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is applying the measures "consistently with the policy applied to similar transactions involving the People’s Republic of China, Russia, and Venezuela."
- BIS has also added Myanmar's defense and home affairs ministries, the Myanmar Economic Corporation and the Myanmar Economic Holding Limited to the Entity List, which is used to limit export licensing for individuals or organizations "reasonably believed to be involved ... in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States."
What they're saying: "The United States remains fully committed to the people of Burma, and strongly condemns violence by the Burmese military against peaceful protesters," the Commerce Department said in a statement.
- "We will not allow the Burmese military to continue to benefit from access to items subject to the EAR. Commerce is reviewing potential additional measures as warranted by the military’s actions," the department added.
- "The U.S. government will continue to hold perpetrators of the coup responsible for their actions."