A U.S. trade representative announced Monday that the U.S. would immediately suspend all trade with Myanmar until the southeast Asian country restores its democratically elected government.
United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai cited the ongoing violence at the hands of the Burmese military, which incited a coup on Feb. 1 and has killed at least 460 civilians since seizing power, according to the statement. Tai said that the military’s actions, which include killing students, labor leaders and children, “has shocked the conscience of the international community.”
“We support the people of Burma’s efforts to restore a democratically elected government, which has been the foundation of Burma’s growth and reform,” Tai said in the statement. “These actions are a direct assault on the country’s transition to democracy and the efforts of the Burmese people to achieve a peaceful and prosperous future.”
The U.S. government continues to refer to the southeast Asian country as Burma, but today it is officially recognized as Myanmar following a name change in 1989, according to the Associated Press.
USTR will suspend all U.S. trade engagement with Burma under the 2013 Trade and Investment Framework Agreement.
We support the people of Burma’s efforts to restore a democratically elected government, which has been the foundation of Burma’s economic growth and reform.
— Ambassador Katherine Tai (@AmbassadorTai) March 29, 2021
The U.S. and United Kingdom have both imposed sanctions against the country amid reports that the military was continuing to kill protesters.
The military blocked Facebook in the country after seizing power, prompting the site to shut down Burmese military accounts. It has also detained multiple journalists covering the coup, including reporters from the Associated Press and BBC News.
The military imposed martial law in some parts of the country last Thursday in an attempt to quell widespread protests, which have continued nonetheless. At least 2559 civilians have been arrested, charged and sentenced by the Burmese military, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
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