The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) is urging Congress to renew import restrictions against Burma which are due to expire on 31 July.

In letters to key members of the House and Senate, AAFA president and CEO Kevin M Burke says tough sanctions against Burma's ruling military junta are necessary "because of its continued violations of human rights." 

The current import ban is contained in the 'Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003,' and will expire unless Congress passes, and the President signs into law, legislation HJ Res 86/SJ Res 38 to renew the ban by the end of July.

"Regrettably, the ruling military junta in Burma has shown no willingness to address the many problems that made [sanctions] by the US government necessary," Burke said.

He added that the most recent US State Department Human Rights Report states Burma's human rights record "worsened during the year [2005], and the government continued to commit numerous serious abuses."