We continue to closely monitor the international response to the political situation in Myanmar and are providing regular updates in relation to sanctions and other developments that may impact international businesses with interests or operations in Myanmar.
For further information on the current situation, please get in touch with one of our key contacts below.
US expands Myanmar sanctions and signals potential further measures
Following its designation last week of key Myanmar conglomerates Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited and Myanmar Economic Corporation Limited (see previous briefing here for details), the US administration has adopted additional measures aimed at restricting trade with Myanmar.
In a statement issued on 29 March, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced the immediate suspension of the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework (TIFA). According to the announcement, the suspension will remain in effect pending “the return of a democratically elected government.”
TIFA was signed in 2013, following the rescindment of the Burma Freedom and Democracy Act by the Obama administration. The now-suspended agreement provided for US-Myanmar cooperation on programmes to support labour and other economic reforms, and integration into global trade.
The announcement also signalled that US authorities are considering other possible measures against Myanmar, including non-renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) programme.
GSP, under which certain categories of goods from Myanmar benefit from reduced or waived tariffs, expired at the end of 2020 and is due for reauthorisation by Congress.
UN Special Rapporteur calls for multilateral cooperation
UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, Tom Andrews, has this week called for UN member states to convene an emergency summit to discuss a coordinated international approach to the situation in Myanmar.
In previous remarks, Mr Andrews has proposed the expansion of international sanctions to include state-controlled Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise, as well as for international energy companies engaged in natural gas projects in Myanmar to withhold funds due to Myanmar counterparties until “legal control of the resources of the Government of Myanmar can be established.”