THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
August 7, 2013
Statement by Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes on the Expiration of the Ban on
Imports from Burma
Today, in light of the July 28 expiration of the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act’s (BFDA) ban on imports from Burma,
the President issued an Executive Order that repeals the provisions of Executive Order 13310 that implemented the broad
BFDA import ban on products of Burma.
President Obama fully supported the expiration of the broader ban on imports from Burma and is taking this step to
advance our policy of promoting responsible economic engagement and encouraging reform that directly benefits the
Burmese people. The removal of the broad ban on imports of articles other than jadeite and rubies, and articles of
jewelry containing them, represents the next step in the Administration’s continued efforts to promote responsible trade
and investment in support of Burma’s reform process. However, due to continuing concerns, including with respect to
labor and human rights in specific sectors, this Executive Order reinstates the prohibitions and restrictions on the
importation into the United States of jadeite and rubies mined or extracted from Burma, and on articles of jewelry
containing them, that was originally imposed by the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE (Junta’s Anti-Democratic Efforts) Act
of 2008, which amended the BFDA. The Administration is maintaining restrictions on specific activities and actors that
contribute to human rights abuses or undermine Burma’s democratic reform process.
Today’s announcement continues to broaden American engagement in Burma, including increased opportunities for trade and
investment, development assistance to strengthen the capacity of the government and people to promote growth and
opportunity, and principled support for political reform and national reconciliation. Americans will continue to stand
with the government and people of Burma as they continue their democratic transition, and work to realize the full
promise of their extraordinary country.