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Letter to President Obama on GSP Trade Benefits for Burma

September 18, 2013

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama,

We are writing about the ongoing review to reinstate trade benefits for Burma under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). Promoting trade with Burma creates human rights risks, particularly in problem sectors such as extractive industries and plantation agriculture, that could undermine the careful economic reengagement policy your Administration has charted thus far. Therefore, if GSP benefits are restored to Burma, we urge your Administration to take the steps outlined in this letter to manage the human rights impacts of that decision.

Our groups cover a spectrum of organizations focused on the promotion and protection of human rights in Burma.  We coordinate closely with Burmese civil society to ensure that the voices and concerns of Burmese communities are heard in the policy deliberations that affect them.  If your Administration reinstates Burma as GSP beneficiary country, we urge you to:

  • require concrete, measurable progress on labor and land rights and environmental protection prior to reinstatement; and
  • exclude products of extractive industries and plantation agriculture from any initial grant of GSP eligibility, and create a more deliberate path to GSP for those sectors.

Download the full letter to President Obama here.

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This post is in: Business and Human Rights, Press Release

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