The U.S. Trade Representative says a new trade arrangement with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will not affect U.S. trade sanctions on Burma.
Susan Schwab told reporters in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur that a new Trade and Investment Agreement with ASEAN will only apply to countries with which the United States already trades. The agreement is to be signed on Friday.
Earlier this month, President Bush renewed U.S. trade sanctions on Burma to pressure it to implement democratic reforms and release political prisoners such as pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Schwab said the United States has great concerns about Burma and hopes other ASEAN members will push Burma's military government toward reform.
Information for this report is provided by AFP, AP and Bernama