Extension of Burma "Emergency" Questioned

Thursday, 20 May 1999

The economic sanctions prohibiting new investment by American companies were extended through a declaration of national emergency under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). IEEPA allows the president to declare a national emergency when there is an "unusual and extraordinary threat" to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United States.

"IEEPA was designed to give the president the authority to protect America from serious foreign threats. While many of these emergency declarations are appropriate -- particularly those related to terrorism and other genuine threats to our national security -- it is extremely difficult to see how Burma represents an extraordinary threat to the United States," Kittredge continued. "We are deeply troubled that there has been no apparent analysis by the U.S. government as to the effectiveness of the Burma sanctions. If they are not working, America should be seeking solutions that will help bring democracy and human rights to Burma -- instead of continuing and ineffective policy and being content with hollow gestures."

USA*ENGAGE is a coalition of over 670 small and large businesses, agriculture groups and trade associations working to seek alternatives to the proliferation of unilateral U.S. foreign policy sanctions and to promote the benefits of U.S. engagement abroad.

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