The United States has suspended part of a US investment treaty with Myanmar after the military coup two months ago. In former Burma, the democratically elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and other politicians from her National League for Democracy have been arrested.
The United States' move comes after years of increasing agricultural trade with Myanmar, but that progress is now under threat. The February 1 military coup sparked a civil disobedience movement and many protests that sparked violent military reactions.
The Myanmarese also strike a lot at companies owned by (the family of) military leaders. The country's economy has been largely in the hands of the generals for decades. New US trade envoy Katherine Tai said the US is ending its participation in the 2013 trade and investment framework agreement with Burma.
The United States is imposing sanctions on two major conglomerates of the Myanmar army. It concerns two holdings, MEHL and MEC, which include dozens of companies. They can no longer trade with Americans and their American bank accounts are frozen. The UK imposes similar sanctions; the European Union has not yet taken a decision on this.
According to the USDA, exports of US agricultural products to Myanmar have grown 80 times over the past nine years, to about $ 167 million in soybean meal, soybeans, distillers, wheat and other commodities. Soybean meal is now the largest product sold by the US to Yangon - exports were estimated at $ 92.3 million in 2020; in 2011 there was no trade at all.