Environmental Investigation Agency names US timber traders who import teak from Myanmar and are breaking sanctions
Thousands of tonnes of ‘blood teak’ have been imported from Myanmar into the United States in the past two years in defiance of US sanctions, the watchdog Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) said in a report, naming several of the American timber companies.
Teak is valued for its water resistance and is used in furniture and flooring, as well on yachts. Concerns about deforestation in Myanmar, one of the world’s largest producers of teak, led to import bans by many countries in the early 2000s and the report warns the country’s forests will disappear by 2035 if deforestation continues at its current rate.
In April 2021, after the military violently displaced the democratic Myanmar government (formerly Burma), the UK, EU and US imposed sanctions on the regime, as well as the state-owned Myanmar Timber Enterprise. The MTE is the only entity that has the right to export timber and harvest it. All funds go to the military government.