Text: H.R.2330 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)
Public Law No: 108-61 (07/28/2003)
[108th Congress Public Law 61]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
BURMESE FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY ACT OF 2003
[[Page 117 STAT. 864]]
Public Law 108-61
To sanction the ruling Burmese military junta, to strengthen Burma's
democratic forces and support and recognize the National League of
Democracy as the legitimate representative of the Burmese people, and
for other purposes. <<NOTE: July 28, 2003 - [H.R. 2330]>>
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress <<NOTE: Burmese Freedom and
Democracy Act of2003. Foreign relations.>> assembled,
SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 50 USC 1701 note.>> SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of
SEC. 2. <<NOTE: 50 USC 1701 note.>> FINDINGS.
Congress makes the following findings:
(1) The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has
failed to transfer power to the National League for Democracy
(NLD) whose parliamentarians won an overwhelming victory in the
1990 elections in Burma.
(2) The SPDC has failed to enter into meaningful, political
dialogue with the NLD and ethnic minorities and has dismissed
the efforts of United Nations Special Envoy Razali bin Ismail to
further such dialogue.
(3) According to the State Department's ``Report to the
Congress Regarding Conditions in Burma and U.S. Policy Toward
Burma'' dated March 28, 2003, the SPDC has become ``more
confrontational'' in its exchanges with the NLD.
(4) <<NOTE: Aung San Suu Kyi.>> On May 30, 2003, the SPDC,
threatened by continued support for the NLD throughout Burma,
brutally attacked NLD supporters, killed and injured scores of
civilians, and arrested democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi and
(5) The SPDC continues egregious human rights violations
against Burmese citizens, uses rape as a weapon of intimidation
and torture against women, and forcibly conscripts child-
soldiers for the use in fighting indigenous ethnic groups.
(6) The SPDC is engaged in ethnic cleansing against
minorities within Burma, including the Karen, Karenni, and Shan
people, which constitutes a crime against humanity and has
directly led to more than 600,000 internally displaced people
living within Burma and more than 130,000 people from Burma
living in refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border.
(7) The ethnic cleansing campaign of the SPDC is in sharp
contrast to the traditional peaceful coexistence in Burma of
Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, and people of traditional
[[Page 117 STAT. 865]]
(8) The SPDC has demonstrably failed to cooperate with the
United States in stopping the flood of heroin and
methamphetamines being grown, refined, manufactured, and
transported in areas under the control of the SPDC serving to
flood the region and much of the world with these illicit drugs.
(9) The SPDC provides safety, security, and engages in
business dealings with narcotics traffickers under indictment by
United States authorities, and other producers and traffickers
(10) The International Labor Organization (ILO), for the
first time in its 82-year history, adopted in 2000, a resolution
recommending that governments, employers, and workers
organizations take appropriate measures to ensure that their
relations with the SPDC do not abet the government-sponsored
system of forced, compulsory, or slave labor in Burma, and that
other international bodies reconsider any cooperation they may
be engaged in with Burma and, if appropriate, cease as soon as
possible any activity that could abet the practice of forced,
compulsory, or slave labor.
(11) The SPDC has integrated the Burmese military and its
surrogates into all facets of the economy effectively destroying
any free enterprise system.
(12) Investment in Burmese companies and purchases from them
serve to provide the SPDC with currency that is used to finance
its instruments of terror and repression against the Burmese
(13) On April 15, 2003, the American Apparel and Footwear
Association expressed its ``strong support for a full and
immediate ban on U.S. textiles, apparel and footwear imports
from Burma'' and called upon the United States Government to
``impose an outright ban on U.S. imports'' of these items until
Burma demonstrates respect for basic human and labor rights of
(14) The policy of the United States, as articulated by the
President on April 24, 2003, is to officially recognize the NLD
as the legitimate representative of the Burmese people as
determined by the 1990 election.
(15) The United States must work closely with other nations,
including Thailand, a close ally of the United States, to
highlight attention to the SPDC's systematic abuses of human
rights in Burma, to ensure that nongovernmental organizations
promoting human rights and political freedom in Burma are
allowed to operate freely and without harassment, and to craft a
multilateral sanctions regime against Burma in order to pressure
the SPDC to meet the conditions identified in section 3(a)(3) of
SEC. 3. <<NOTE: 50 USC 1701 note.>> BAN AGAINST TRADE THAT SUPPORTS THE
MILITARY REGIME OF BURMA.
(a) General Ban.--
(1) In <<NOTE: Effective date. President.>> general.--
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, until such time as
the President determines and certifies to Congress that Burma
has met the conditions described in paragraph (3), beginning 30
days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President
shall ban the importation of any article that is a product of
[[Page 117 STAT. 866]]
(2) Ban <<NOTE: Applicability.>> on imports from certain
companies.--The import restrictions contained in paragraph (1)
shall apply to, among other entities--
(A) the SPDC, any ministry of the SPDC, a member of
the SPDC or an immediate family member of such member;
(B) known narcotics traffickers from Burma or an
immediate family member of such narcotics trafficker;
(C) the Union of Myanmar Economics Holdings
Incorporated (UMEHI) or any company in which the UMEHI
has a fiduciary interest;
(D) the Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) or any
company in which the MEC has a fiduciary interest;
(E) the Union Solidarity and Development Association
(F) any successor entity for the SPDC, UMEHI, MEC,
(3) Conditions described.--The conditions described in this
paragraph are the following:
(A) The SPDC has made substantial and measurable
progress to end violations of internationally recognized
human rights including rape, and the Secretary of State,
after consultation with the ILO Secretary General and
relevant nongovernmental organizations, reports to the
appropriate congressional committees that the SPDC no
longer systematically violates workers rights, including
the use of forced and child labor, and conscription of
(B) The SPDC has made measurable and substantial
progress toward implementing a democratic government
(i) releasing all political prisoners;
(ii) allowing freedom of speech and the press;
(iii) allowing freedom of association;
(iv) permitting the peaceful exercise of
(v) bringing to a conclusion an agreement
between the SPDC and the democratic forces led by
the NLD and Burma's ethnic nationalities on the
transfer of power to a civilian government
accountable to the Burmese people through
democratic elections under the rule of law.
(C) Pursuant to section 706(2) of the Foreign
Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 (Public
Law 107-228), Burma has not been designated as a country
that has failed demonstrably to make substantial efforts
to adhere to its obligations under international
counternarcotics agreements and to take other effective
counternarcotics measures, including, but not limited to
(i) the arrest and extradition of all individuals under
indictment in the United States for narcotics
trafficking, (ii) concrete and measurable actions to
stem the flow of illicit drug money into Burma's banking
system and economic enterprises, and (iii) actions to
stop the manufacture and export of methamphetamines.
(4) Appropriate congressional committees.--In this
subsection, the term ``appropriate congressional committees''
[[Page 117 STAT. 867]]
means the Committees on Foreign Relations and Appropriations of
the Senate and the Committees on International Relations and
Appropriations of the House of Representatives.
(b) Waiver Authorities.--The President may waive the prohibitions
described in this section for any or all articles that are a product of
Burma if the President determines and notifies the Committees on
Appropriations, Finance, and Foreign Relations of the Senate and the
Committees on Appropriations, International Relations, and Ways and
Means of the House of Representatives that to do so is in the national
interest of the United States.
SEC. 4. <<NOTE: 50 USC 1701 note.>> FREEZING ASSETS OF THE BURMESE
REGIME IN THE UNITED STATES.
Reporting <<NOTE: Deadline. President. Regulations.>> Requirement.--Not
later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the
President shall take such action as is necessary to direct, and
promulgate regulations to the same, that any United States financial
institution holding funds belonging to the SPDC or the assets of those
individuals who hold senior positions in the SPDC or its political arm,
the Union Solidarity Development Association, shall promptly report
those funds or assets to the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
(b) Additional Authority.--The President may take such action as may
be necessary to impose a sanctions regime to freeze such funds or
assets, subject to such terms and conditions as the President determines
to be appropriate.
(c) Delegation.--The President may delegate the duties and
authorities under this section to such Federal officers or other
officials as the President deems appropriate.
SEC. 5. <<NOTE: 50 USC 1701 note.>> LOANS AT INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL
The Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States
executive director to each appropriate international financial
institution in which the United States participates, to oppose, and vote
against the extension by such institution of any loan or financial or
technical assistance to Burma until such time as the conditions
described in section 3(a)(3) are met.
SEC. 6. <<NOTE: 50 USC 1701 note.>> EXPANSION OF VISA BAN.
(a) In General.--
(1) Visa ban.--The President is authorized to deny visas and
entry to the former and present leadership of the SPDC or the
Union Solidarity Development Association.
(2) Updates.--The Secretary of State shall coordinate on a
biannual basis with representatives of the European Union to
allow officials of the United States and the European Union to
ensure a high degree of coordination of lists of individuals
banned from obtaining a visa by the European Union for the
reason described in paragraph (1) and those banned from
receiving a visa from the United States.
(b) Publication.--The <<NOTE: Internet.>> Secretary of State shall
post on the Department of State's website the names of individuals whose
entry into the United States is banned under subsection (a).
SEC. 7. <<NOTE: 50 USC 1701 note.>> CONDEMNATION OF THE REGIME AND
DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION.
Congress encourages the Secretary of State to highlight the abysmal
record of the SPDC to the international community and use all
appropriate fora, including the Association of Southeast
[[Page 117 STAT. 868]]
Asian Nations Regional Forum and Asian Nations Regional Forum, to
encourage other states to restrict financial resources to the SPDC and
Burmese companies while offering political recognition and support to
Burma's democratic movement including the National League for Democracy
and Burma's ethnic groups.
SEC. 8. <<NOTE: 50 USC 1701 note.>> SUPPORT DEMOCRACY ACTIVISTS IN
(a) In General.--The President is authorized to use all available
resources to assist Burmese democracy activists dedicated to nonviolent
opposition to the regime in their efforts to promote freedom, democracy,
and human rights in Burma, including a listing of constraints on such
(b) <<NOTE: Deadlines.>> Reports.--
(1) First report.--Not later than 3 months after the date of
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall provide the
Committees on Appropriations and Foreign Relations of the Senate
and the Committees on Appropriations and International Relations
of the House of Representatives a comprehensive report on its
short- and long-term programs and activities to support
democracy activists in Burma, including a list of constraints on
(2) Report on resources.--Not later than 6 months after the
date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall
provide the Committees on Appropriations and Foreign Relations
of the Senate and the Committees on Appropriations and
International Relations of the House of Representatives a report
identifying resources that will be necessary for the
reconstruction of Burma, after the SPDC is removed from power,
(A) the formation of democratic institutions;
(B) establishing the rule of law;
(C) establishing freedom of the press;
(D) providing for the successful reintegration of
military officers and personnel into Burmese society;
(E) providing health, educational, and economic
(3) Report on trade sanctions.--Not later than 90 days
before the date on which the import restrictions contained in
section 3(a)(1) are to expire, the Secretary of State, in
consultation with the United States Trade Representative and the
heads of appropriate agencies, shall submit to the Committees on
Appropriations, Finance, and Foreign Relations of the Senate,
and the Committees on Appropriations, International Relations,
and Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, a report
(A) bilateral and multilateral measures undertaken
by the United States Government and other governments to
promote human rights and democracy in Burma;
(B) the extent to which actions related to trade
with Burma taken pursuant to this Act have been
(i) improving conditions in Burma, including
human rights violations, arrest and detention of
democracy activists, forced and child labor, and
the status of dialogue between the SPDC and the
NLD and ethnic minorities;
[[Page 117 STAT. 869]]
(ii) furthering the policy objections of the
United States toward Burma; and
(C) the impact of actions relating to trade take
pursuant to this Act on other national security,
economic, and foreign policy interests of the United
States, including relations with countries friendly to
the United States.
SEC. 9. <<NOTE: 50 USC 1701 note.>> DURATION OF SANCTIONS.
(a) Termination by Request From Democratic Burma.--The President may
terminate any provision in this Act upon the request of a democratically
elected government in Burma, provided that all the conditions in section
3(a)(3) have been met.
(b) Continuation of Import Sanctions.--
(1) Expiration.--The import restrictions contained in
section 3(a)(1) shall expire 1 year from the date of enactment
of this Act unless renewed under paragraph (2) of this section.
(2) Resolution by congress.--The import restrictions
contained in section 3(a)(1) may be renewed annually for a 1-
year period if, prior to the anniversary of the date of
enactment of this Act, and each year thereafter, a renewal
resolution is enacted into law in accordance with subsection
(3) Limitation.--The import restrictions contained in
section 3(a)(1) may be renewed for a maximum of three years from
the date of the enactment of this Act.
(c) Renewal Resolutions.--
(1) In general.--For purposes of this section, the term
``renewal resolution'' means a joint resolution of the 2 Houses
of Congress, the sole matter after the resolving clause of which
is as follows: ``That Congress approves the renewal of the
import restrictions contained in section 3(a)(1) of the Burmese
Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003.''.
(2) <<NOTE: Applicability.>> Procedures.--
(A) In general.--A renewal resolution--
(i) may be introduced in either House of
Congress by any member of such House at any time
within the 90-day period before the expiration of
the import restrictions contained in section
(ii) the provisions of subparagraph (B) shall
(B) Expedited consideration.--The provisions of
section 152(b), (c), (d), (e), and (f) of the Trade Act
of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2192 (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f))
apply to a renewal resolution under this Act as if such
resolution were a
[[Page 117 STAT. 870]]
resolution described in section 152(a) of the Trade Act
Approved July 28, 2003.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 2330 (S. 1215):
HOUSE REPORTS: No. 108-159, Pt. 1 (Comm. on International Relations) and
Pt. 2 (Comm. on the Judiciary).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 149 (2003):
July 14, 15, considered and passed House.
July 16, considered and passed Senate.
WEEKLY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS, Vol. 39 (2003):
July 28, Presidential statement.