WASHINGTON – The United States Departments of Commerce, Homeland Security, Labor, State, the Treasury, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) today issued a Burma business advisory to inform the public of the heightened risks associated with doing business in Burma, and in particular with the military junta. The coup has significantly damaged the economic and business environment in Burma, due to the military regime’s attacks on the rule of law, facilitation of corruption illicit financial activity, and serious human rights abuses. Businesses and individuals with potential exposure to, or involvement in, operations or supply chains tied to the military junta that do not conduct appropriate due diligence run the risk of engaging in conduct that may expose them to significant reputational, financial, and legal risks.
“I am gravely concerned by the continued reports of the Burmese military’s brutal violence against the people of Burma, and Burma’s vibrant labor union movement, including arrests of Burmese labor leaders,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “I urge the U.S. private sector to ensure they are engaged in responsible business practices that uphold and protect internationally recognized worker rights and human rights, including eliminating forced labor and child labor, throughout their global supply chains.”
The advisory is titled: Risks and Considerations for Businesses and Individuals with Exposure to Entities Responsible for Undermining Democratic Processes, Facilitating Corruption, and Committing Human Rights Abuses in Burma (Myanmar). On March 29, 2021, USTR announced the suspension of all U.S. diplomatic engagement, meetings, and cooperation with Burma under the U.S.-Burma Trade and Investment Framework Agreement in response to the coup by the Burmese military and its oppression of the Burmese people. The United States continues to support the people of Burma in their aspirations for democracy, freedom, peace, and development.
In 2020, Burma was the United States’ 85th largest goods trading partner with $1.4 billion in total goods trade. U.S. goods exports totaled $339 million; U.S. goods imports totaled $1.0 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with Burma was $688 million in 2020.