On Friday, the U.S. government announced that imports of goods from Myanmar/Burma, which had previously been prohibited, are now allowed. (Legally, this is done by General License No. 18 issued by the Treasury Department, which is attached below.) The only exceptions are rubies and jadeite, the main gems produced in Myanmar; the U.S. says that some “concerns” remain about the production of gems in Burma.
The license does allow direct imports of timber, including teak. Ironically, however, that may soon be banned from the other end – the Myanmar government has stated that it’s planning to ban exports of timber starting in 2014. But, as the Irrawaddy reports, that may not help curb the illegal logging trade, which is a significant cause of deforestation in Myanmar.