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Apparel And Footwear Makers Call For Ban On Burmese Imports

James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

In a highly unusual move, the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) has called for an "immediate and total ban" on textile, apparel and footwear imports from Burma. AAFA has been a consistent supporter of free trade, but in this case the association apparently believes Burma's human rights violations are so series that drastic action is called for. The association said it will urge its members and the US and other governments to help implement the ban.

In a statement announcing the proposed ban, AAFA President Kevin M. Burke said "The government of Burma continues to abuse its citizens through force and intimidation and refuses to respect the basic human rights of its people. AAFA believes this unacceptable behavior should be met with condemnation from not only the public community but from private industry as well."

A number of apparel manufacturers already have stopped doing business with Burma, and as a result, Burmese imports into the United States fell from $471 million in 2000 to $356 million in 2002. In addition to the actions being taken by AAFA, the International Labor Organization in 2000, for the first time in its history, called on all ILO members to impose sanctions on Burma.

  April 2003




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