- by Tammy, this blog humanity journalist
A Myanmar human right activist told this blog that a planned ASEAN-US business lobbyist in Washington DC-to lead a group of US businessmen to scout-out investment opportunities in Myanmar, is “Unfortunate and Discouraging.”
“We really do not understand the signals coming out of Washington DC. The State Department wants trade and development with everyone-calling it engagement. But then President Obama called for a release of Aung San before the elections. And now a lobbyist is taking Americans to Myanmar for a conference to meet businessmen there. Is the pressure on or is it off, I do not have a clue,” said the Jad, a human rights activist, active in the underground movement in Myanmar.
The planned visit by US businessmen, organized by the most powerful lobbyist group in Washington DC, on US and ASEAN trade, is scheduled to be held in March, most likely in Yangon.
In the US, lobbying is considered legal.
In 2009, despite the economic crisis, Washington DC lobbyist raked in about US$2.5 billion, surpassing the 2008 figure-growing about 10%. The increased fees came mostly from special interest groups looking for support against US president’s Obama policies that restricts trade.