US announces work-around on Burma trade sanctions
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US announces work-around on Burma trade sanctions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States has announced a work-around in its Burma (Myanmar) sanctions regime to allow trade through ports and other infrastructure run by cronies of the former ruling junta.

The action Monday by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control follows complaints from banks that they could not finance trade that goes through the nation’s main port terminal in Yangon because it is run by blacklisted business tycoon Steven Law.

Senior Obama administration officials said the six-month waiver is designed to clear a roadblock to trade and prevent U.S. banks pulling out of the Burmese market because of the risk of sanctions violation and increased compliance costs.

It will not allow U.S. companies to trade directly with blacklisted companies, but human rights groups oppose the move as a retrograde step.

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