Talk Grows of End to Burmese Ruby Ban

Improving U.S. relations with Myanmar may lead to an end to sanctions against the country, including the current ban of Burmese rubies, reports say.
 
The Tom Lantos JADE act, passed in 2008, effectively banned Burmese rubies and jade in the United States.
 
While that law remains in effect, talk is growing that the sanctions may eventually be lifted.
 
“There are people on the Hill certainly looking at this,” Cecilia Gardner, president and CEO of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, tells JCK. “But I’m not aware of any specific legislation.”

Matt Runci, CEO of Jewelers of America, says that his group would have no problem with a lifting of the ban if conditions improve.

“Due to human rights violations, JA has supported the embargo on Burmese products in order to pressure the regime to make much needed changes,” he says. “We welcome the progress that has been made thus far, such as last week’s release of political prisoners. As long as there continues to be improvement of relations with the U.S. government and further progress on human rights issues, JA looks forward to easing of the ban on precious stones.”

On Jan. 13, the State Dept. announced it would exchange ambassadors with the Southeast Asian nation, also known as Burma. Already Australia has eased sanctions against the regime, according to the local press reports. And the Association of Southeast Asian Nations has reportedly called for an end to sanctions.