Sourcing

White House Imposes Sanctions on 3 Burmese Gem Companies

SourcingFeb 16, 2021

White House Imposes Sanctions on 3 Burmese Gem Companies

The government says they are wholly owned subsidiaries of a conglomerate owned or controlled by the Burmese military, which was behind the recent coup.

Washington, D.C.—President Joe Biden has enacted a number of new sanctions against Myanmar’s military, its leaders and their business interests, including three gemstone companies.

The sanctions come after a recent coup in Myanmar in which the military junta seized power, ousting leader Aung San Suu Kyi and detaining other key government officials.

According to a Feb. 11 statement from the White House, the president has introduced new sanctions in response, adding 10 individuals and three companies to the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List for their association with the military regime.

The three named entities are Burmese gemstone companies: Myanmar Ruby Enterprise, Myanmar Imperial Jade Co. Ltd., and Cancri Gems & Jewellery Co. Ltd.

The White House said they are “wholly owned subsidiaries of a conglomerate owned or controlled by the Burmese military.”

As of now, the sanctions include gemstones from those three companies only, JVC Senior Counsel Sara Yood confirmed.

But, she added, it is “highly probable” there will be further action in the area, including the possibility of a ban on all gemstone imports from Myanmar or other limitations.

“JVC’s recommendation to businesses is to make inquiries into their colored gemstone supply chains to determine if they are directly or indirectly doing business with these entities, and if so, to immediately stop doing business with them,” Yood said.

The import of Burmese gems to the United States has been off and on for more than a decade.

Former President George W. Bush signed the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE Act into law in 2008, banning the import of rubies and jade from Myanmar in response to what Washington deemed were human rights violations by the country’s ruling military regime.

The ban on gems was lifted in 2016 under the Obama administration, though former President Donald Trump introduced some sanctions again starting in 2018 amid reports of ethnic cleansing of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim population.

Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

The Latest

FinancialsSep 17, 2021
Consumer Resilience Buoys August Retail Sales

U.S. retail sales rose last month in spite of the rising Delta variant and supply chain constraints.

CollectionsSep 17, 2021
Sydney Evan Celebrates 20 Years with Capsule Collection

It showcases the brand’s signature motifs in new ways.

Events & AwardsSep 17, 2021
Here’s This Year’s Robert M. Shipley Award Winner

Plus, the winners of the many other awards presented at AGS Conclave.

Brought to you by
What is your Health Care Coverage Strategy?

Health care coverage is a big expense for small businesses - find out how to lower costs long-term instead of every 12 months.

CollectionsSep 17, 2021
Piece of the Week: Maggi Simpkins’ Powerful Pink Diamond

It’s part of Sotheby’s “Black & Brilliant” sale, opening today.

Weekly QuizSep 16, 2021
This Week's Quiz
Test your knowledge of jewelry news from the week of Sept. 13-17, 2021.
Take the Quiz
TrendsSep 16, 2021
Amanda’s Style File: Fun With Geometric Shapes

The clean lines of these 15 designs feel fresh for fall.

Events & AwardsSep 16, 2021
Gem Legacy Is Having Another Benefit Auction to Celebrate 3 Years

All proceeds will go toward its miner toolkit initiative.

Brought to you by
3 Reasons Your Store Should Add An Estate Category

Increase profit margins, generate traffic and attract new customers with an Estate assortment by partnering with Windsor Jewelers, Inc.

IndependentsSep 16, 2021
Day’s Jewelers Named a Great Place to Work, Again

The retailer made the list of Best Places to Work in Maine for the seventh year in a row.

×