Burma - Country Commercial Guide
Market Overview

Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, and other issues that affect trade.

Last published date: 2022-07-28

A resource-rich country, Burma is strategically located in  Southeast Asia between India and China, with ports on the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea of the Indian Ocean.  Burma boasted the highest GDP growth rate in Asia with economic growth projected to be 6.3 percent in 2020 and 6.4 percent in 2021.  However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the February 1, 2021 coup d’état, Burma experienced an 18 percent contraction in 2021.  The World Bank’s Myanmar Economic Monitor projects growth of just one percent in the year ending September 2022. 

Myanmar or Burma – Which Name to Use? 

The official name of the country is “Republic of the Union of Myanmar” according to 2008 constitution.  Either name can be used to refer to the country, however, military regime authorities only use Myanmar and that name is featured on all official letters and documents.  The United States government continues to use the name “Burma,” and does not recognize the current military regime as the government.  

U.S. – Burma Trade 

U.S. – Burma trade has increased dramatically since 2012.  In 2020, Burma stood as the 85th largest trading partner with the United States at $1.4 billion in total trade, while the U.S. is the tenth-largest source of imports for Burma.  U.S. exports totaled $339 million, while U.S. imports totaled $1.0 billion.  The United States goods trade surplus, from as recently as 2015, has now turned into a sequence of deficits in recent years, at $234 million in 2018, $474 million in 2019, and $689 million in 2020.  Following the February 2021 coup, U.S. – Burma trade declined significantly. 

In response to the coup, the U.S. government imposed targeted sanctions, implemented export restrictions on “sensitive products” to Burma’s military, and suspended diplomatic engagement with the State Administration Council (SAC), significantly impacting U.S.-Burma trade momentum.  Detailed information is in the Customs, Regulations, and Standards chapter. 

NOTE: All figures are in millions of U.S. dollars on a nominal basis, not seasonally adjusted unless otherwise specified.   

2022 (as of March) U.S. Trade in Goods with Burma

Month 

Exports 

Imports 

Balance 

January 2022 

6.7 

79.6 

-72.9 

February 2022 

8.1 

78.2 

-70.0 

March 2022 

33.3 

79.0 

-45.7 

TOTAL 2022 

48.2 

236.8 

-188.6 

NOTE: All figures are in millions of U.S. dollars on a nominal basis, not seasonally adjusted unless otherwise specified.   

2021 U.S. Trade in Goods with Burma

Month 

Exports 

Imports 

Balance 

January 2021 

46.5 

92.1 

-45.6 

February 2021 

14.5 

77.4 

-62.9 

March 2021 

14.4 

106.7 

-92.4 

April 2021 

11.8 

68.1 

-56.3 

May 2021 

13.0 

62.7 

-49.7 

June 2021 

37.1 

69.6 

-32.6 

July 2021 

14.0 

70.6 

-56.7 

August 2021 

15.6 

68.5 

-52.9 

September 2021 

18.5 

75.5 

-57.0 

October 2021 

10.5 

79.0 

-68.5 

November 2021 

9.7 

84.7 

-75.0 

December 2021 

9.4 

80.1 

-70.7 

TOTAL 2021 

215.0 

935.2 

-720.2 

 

2020: U.S. trade in goods with Burma 

NOTE: All figures are in millions of U.S. dollars on a nominal basis, not seasonally adjusted unless otherwise specified.  Details may not equal totals due to rounding.  Table reflects only those months for which there was trade.  

2020 U.S. Trade in Goods with Burma

Month 

Exports 

Imports 

Balance 

January 2020 

40.5 

98.7 

-58.2 

February 2020 

36.0 

87.8 

-51.8 

March 2020 

32.5 

83.0 

-50.5 

April 2020 

38.3 

85.9 

-47.6 

May 2020 

24.5 

76.2 

-51.7 

June 2020 

20.6 

54.8 

-34.2 

July 2020 

19.6 

81.1 

-61.4 

August 2020 

21.5 

98.8 

-77.3 

September 2020 

25.8 

111.5 

-85.7 

October 2020 

28.5 

110.2 

-81.7 

November 2020 

23.0 

80.7 

-57.7 

December 2020 

28.0 

58.5 

-30.5 

TOTAL 2020 

338.9 

1,027.2 

-688.3