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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
7/22/2008--Public Law. Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE (Junta's Anti-Democratic Efforts) Act of 2008 - (Sec. 4) States that it is U.S. policy to: (1) condemn the repression carried out by the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) of Burma; (2) support a peaceful transition to constitutional democracy in Burma; (3) support international efforts to alleviate the suffering of Burmese refugees and address the urgent humanitarian needs of the Burmese people; and (4) hold accountable individuals responsible for the repression of peaceful political activity in Burma.
(Sec. 5) Subjects the following persons to a U.S. entry visa prohibition and financial sanctions (blocked property, financial transaction prohibitions, prohibited activities, and banking sanctions), including: (1) former and present leaders of the SPDC, the Burmese military, or the Union Solidarity Development Association (USDA); (2) officials of the SPDC, the Burmese military, or the USDA involved in political repression in Burma or other gross violations of human rights abuses; (3) other Burmese SPDC, Burmese military, and USDA supporters; and (4) immediate family members of any such persons.
Directs the President to submit to Congress a list of such sanctioned persons.
Exempts medical and humanitarian assistance and certain financial transactions from such restrictions. Authorizes additional waivers for diplomatic, official U.S. Government, and travel purposes. Subjects persons who violate such prohibitions to certain civil and criminal penalties.
Terminates such sanctions upon a presidential certification to Congress that the SPDC has: (1) unconditionally released all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi and other members of the National League for Democracy (NLD); (2) entered into a dialogue with democratic forces led by the NLD and the ethnic minorities of Burma on transitioning to democratic government; and (3) allowed humanitarian access to populations affected by armed conflict in all regions of Burma.
Authorizes the President to waive such sanctions if it is in the national interests of the United States.
(Sec. 6) Amends the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003 (BFDA) to prohibit the importation into the United States of jadeite and rubies, including jewelry containing such articles (covered articles) from Burma until the President certifies to Congress that Burma has met certain conditions concerning human rights and democratic reforms and has implemented certain counternarcotics measures.
Directs the President to require certain conditions for the importation into the United States of such articles from other countries (non-Burmese covered articles) in order to prevent trade in Burmese covered articles. Subjects Burmese covered articles and non-Burmese covered articles that are imported into the United States to seizure and forfeiture and to U.S. criminal and civil laws.
Expresses the sense of Congress that the President should take the necessary steps to negotiate an international arrangement (similar to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme for conflict diamonds) to prevent the trade in Burmese covered articles.
Requires the President to report to Congress on what U.S. actions have been taken to seek: (1) the issuance of a draft waiver decision by the Council for Trade in Goods of the World Trade Organization (WTO) granting the United States a waiver under the WTO with respect to the provisions of this Act; (2) the adoption of a United Nations (U.N.) resolution calling for the creation and implementation of a certification scheme for non-Burmese covered articles to prevent trade in Burmese covered articles; and (3) the negotiation of an international arrangement to prevent the trade in Burmese covered articles. Requires the Comptroller General to report to Congress on the effectiveness of this Act.
Extends import sanctions upon enactment of a renewal resolution by Congress.
(Sec. 7) Directs the President to appoint a Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Burma.
(Sec. 8) Authorizes the President to assist nonviolent democracy activists in their efforts to promote freedom, democracy, and human rights in Burma. Authorizes appropriations for FY2008.
(Sec. 9) Declares the sense of Congress that the international community should increase support for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) attempting to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of the Burmese people.
Amends the BFDA to authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to issue multi-year licenses for humanitarian or religious activities in Burma. Authorizes appropriations, with a limitation, for FY2008.
(Sec. 10) Directs the Secretary of State to report to Congress on countries, companies, and other entities that provide military or intelligence aid to the SPDC.
(Sec. 11) Expresses the sense of Congress that the United States should lead UN Security Council efforts to impose an international arms embargo on Burma.
(Sec. 12) Directs the Secretary of State to report annually to Congress on Burma's timber trade, including recommendations on alternative imports to Burmese hardwoods.
(Sec. 13) Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to report annually to Congress on all countries and foreign banking institutions that hold assets on behalf of senior Burmese officials.
(Sec. 14) Expresses the sense of Congress that the United States should work with the Royal Thai Government to ensure the safety of the 15 plaintiffs in the Doe v. Unocal case. Urges the United States to grant plaintiffs refugee status or humanitarian parole to enter the United States.
(Sec. 15) Urges: (1) U.S., French, and Thai investors to voluntarily divest in the Burmese Yadana gas pipeline project if the Burmese Government fails to take steps to release political prisoners, restore civilian constitutional rule, and promote national reconciliation; and (2) Yadana investors that remain invested in Burma to communicate certain criticisms to the Burmese government, disclose transparently their role in Burmese investment, and work with project partners to ensure forced labor is not used on the project.