|Famous Burmese nationalist MP U Aung Thaung.|
The new sanctions, announced Friday, come days before President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the Southeast Asian country, also known as Burma, as part of a gathering of regional leaders.
The White House said late Thursday that Mr. Obama spoke by telephone with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, a leading opposition figure who was targeted in attacks, as well as President Thein Sein.
The new sanctions will require U.S.-connected firms and individuals to freeze the assets of Aung Thaung, a current member of Myanmar's lower house of parliament and former industry minister and army officer.
The U.S. Treasury Department in a statement blamed Aung Thaung for working to undermine recent economic and political changes in Myanmar and said he has been implicated in previous attacks on the country's democratic opposition. Myanmar embassy staff in Washington didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the sanctions.