The Straits Times
Published on Nov 16, 2012

US to lift Myanmar import ban ahead of Obama trip


WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States was expected on Friday to lift its ban on most imports from Myanmar days before President Barack Obama pays a landmark visit to the fast-changing nation, officials said.

However, the Treasury Department was likely to maintain its ban on the import of gems, which are seen as a major source of corruption, a congressional aide told AFP.

The Obama administration was also expected to expand a list of companies in the nation formerly known as Burma with which US firms are barred from doing business, the aide said on condition of anonymity.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced in September - as she met in New York with President Thein Sein, who has spearheaded reforms - that the US would be "normalising our commercial relationship" with Myanmar.