President Bush has signed into law a bill that renews the U.S. ban on imports from Burma to protest Burma's human rights record. Both houses of Congress approved the measure before the president signed it into law on Wednesday.
U.S. lawmakers first passed the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act in 2003. President Bush said at the time that the sanctions were meant as a clear signal to Burma's government that it must release democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners. Aung San Suu Kyi has spent nearly 10 of the past 16 years in confinement. One of the bill's sponsors, Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, said earlier this month that Burma's military government controls the people through a campaign of violence and terror.