Biden to slap new sanctions on Myanmar after coup

Biden said the executive order would enable his administration "to immediately sanction the military leaders who directed the coup, their business interests as well as close family members."

While neither Biden nor the Treasury Department specified who would be hit by the sanctions or how, the president promised controls on exports and to prevent the generals from accessing $1 billion of Burmese government funds held in the United States.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Wednesday the specifics of the new sanctions would be spelled out this week.

"We will identify a first round of targets this week, and we're also going to impose strong exports controls," Biden said.

"We're freezing U.S. assets that benefit the Burmese government, while maintaining our support for healthcare, civil society groups, and other areas that benefit the people of Burma directly."

Video Transcript

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Today, I again call on the Burmese military to immediately release the democratic political leaders and activists. And they're now detaining, including Aung San Suu Kyi-- and also Win Myint, the president. The military must relinquish power it seized and demonstrate respect for the will of the people of Burma, as expressed in their November 8 election. So today, I'm announcing a series of actions that we're taking to begin imposing consequences on the leaders of the coup. The US government is taking steps to prevent the generals from improperly having access to the $1 billion in Burmese government funds held in the United States.

And today, I've approved a new executive order-- (COUGHING) excuse me-- a new executive order enabling us to immediately sanction the military leaders who directed the coup, their business interests, as well as close family members. We will identify a first round of targets this week, and we're also going to impose strong export controls. We're freezing US assets that benefit the Burmese government, while maintaining our support for health care, civil society groups, and other areas that benefit the people of Burma directly.