July 23,2009

Baucus Opening Statement Regarding Burma Sanctions Renewal and Nominations

Statement of Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.)
Regarding Burma Sanctions Renewal and Nominations

The Committee first will consider S.J. Res. 17, a resolution to renew the existing import ban on products from Burma.

Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and democracy leader from Burma said:
“The struggle for democracy and human rights in Burma is a struggle for life and dignity. It is a struggle that encompasses our political, social and economic aspirations.”

By approving S.J. Res. 17, we can stand with the people of Burma in their struggle to secure their basic
human rights.

Sadly, the Burmese government remains determined to make this struggle a long and painful one. It
continues to suppress political opponents, conscript children into the military, abuse the rights of
workers, and allow trafficking of people, particularly women and children, with impunity.

Unilateral trade sanctions are often not an effective tool to achieve our foreign policy goals. But in the
case of Burma, several of our trading partners — including the European Union, Canada, and Australia — have joined us in imposing trade and investment sanctions. While the Burmese regime has maintained its grip on power, these sanctions have had a meaningful effect on the Burmese leadership. I therefore urge my Colleagues to support this resolution.

We also come together today to approve seven pending nominations. The President asked these nominees to lead our country through unprecedented challenges. Together, they must provide legal and policy guidance that will address economic uncertainty, both at home and abroad.

Each of these nominees has demonstrated dedication, creativity, and ingenuity in their previous
positions. They will be called upon to use all of these attributes in their new positions. They must help restore America’s economic strength as we adapt to new and uncharted territories. The President is confident that each of them is up to the task. And so am I.

So let us come together to complete these two critical tasks. Let us reauthorize and renew our
sanctions on Burma so the Burmese people will know that we stand with them in their struggle. And let us approve these nominations so our country will have the leadership necessary to ensure a better tomorrow.