Acting U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis traveled to Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw on April 25-26, 2013 for discussions to re-establish a bilateral trade dialogue, address trade and investment issues, and support the government’s economic reform program. During the visit, he met with senior government officials – including Presidential Minister U Soe Thein, Commerce Minister U Win Myint, and Deputy Labor Minister U Myint Thein – and opposition leaders including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. His visit marked the first official USTR visit since the country’s independence.
On May 21, 2013, the United States and Burma signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), creating a platform for ongoing dialogue and cooperation on trade and investment issues between the two governments. As part of this dialogue, the two governments will work together to identify initiatives that support the ongoing reform process and development activities that benefit the people of the country. A priority for the United States will be to work with the government in Nay Pyi Taw to achieve further improvements in the protection of worker rights, a longstanding area of concern to U.S. stakeholders and the international community.
The text of the TIFA can be found here.
Following the easing of sanctions in 2012, U.S. bilateral trade with Burma is increasing but still remains small. In the first four months of 2013, U.S. exports were $92.6 million, dominated by U.S. exports of aircraft parts and vehicle exports. During the same span, U.S. imports from the country were $3.6 million, including fish products and furniture with wooden frames. In contrast, Burma's global two-way goods trade is roughly $20 billion, with China and Thailand ranking as Burma’s top two trading partners. Other major trading partners include India, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia.