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US waiving Myanmar import ban before Obama's trip

Matthew Pennington, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congressional officials say the U.S. is set to suspend its ban on imports from Myanmar before President Barack Obama's landmark visit to the country.

The State Department was expected to announce Friday that it is waiving the restriction, but will still bar imports of gems.

The Treasury Department will update its list of entities that U.S. companies are barred from doing business with because of links to the military and rights abuses.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to disclose the information before the announcement.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in September the U.S. would ease the sanction to reward Myanmar's shift from military rule and to encourage further democratic reform.

Obama visits the country also known as Burma Monday, the first U.S. president to do so.