July 22,2010

Press Contact:

Scott Mulhauser/Erin Shields
(202) 224-4515

Baucus Floor Statement Urging the Renewal of Burma Sanctions

Madame President, today the Senate considers extension of economic sanctions against the Burmese regime.  The Senate should pass this resolution

Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and democracy leader in Burma, said that “the people of Burma are like prisoners in their own country.”

Dr. Suu Kyi herself remains, quite literally, a prisoner.  The Burmese regime has kept her under house arrest on trumped up charges for 14 of the last 20 years. 

But she persists in her dream of freedom and democracy for Burma.  And by extending economic sanctions against the Burmese regime, we hope to make that dream a reality. 

The Burmese regime seems intent on keeping its people in chains.  According to the State Department, the regime continues to conscript children into the military and engage in forced labor.  It continues to violate freedoms of expression, assembly, association, movement and religion.  And it continues to use murder, abduction, rape and torture against its opponents. 

I have often questioned whether unilateral trade sanctions are the best path.

But several of our trading partners — including the European Union, Canada and Australia — have joined us in imposing sanctions against Burma.  And the State Department has found that these sanctions have made it more difficult and costly for the Burmese regime to profit from imprisoning its people. 

So let us stand with the Burmese people.  Let us seek to free them from their captivity.  And let us renew these sanctions.

I urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan resolution.