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News Summary: US to boost ties with Myanmar

The Associated Press

TRADE TALKS: Myanmar could get broad duty-free access to the U.S. market by year's end as the United States tries to deepen trade and military ties with the former military dictatorship.

FIRST STEPS: Acting U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis said Friday that the U.S. could waive import duties on thousands of goods from Myanmar, including agricultural products, handicrafts, and some garments, by the end of this year under a program designed to help poor countries.

THE UPSHOT: The move illustrates how deeply U.S. policy toward the former pariah state has changed. Until November, the U.S. banned imports from Myanmar. In response to rapid political reforms, Washington has suspended most sanctions.