USIBC strongly supports legislation that recognizes India’s status as an essential defense partner of the United States and facilitates additional co-production/co-development and trade

Washington, DC.  March 22, 2016 . Recently Congressman George Holding (R-NC), Co-Chair of the House India Caucus, introduced H.R. 4825, the U.S.-India Defense Technology and Partnership Act. The legislation amends the Arms Export Control Act in order to formalize India’s status for the purpose of congressional notifications as a major partner of equal status as America’s treaty allies and closest partners. This sends an important signal to the Indian defense establishment that today’s political conditions are fundamentally different from the past.

The legislation also encourages actions necessary to promote defense trade. For the United States, it encourages the government to designate an official to focus on US-India defense cooperation, facilitate the transfer of defense technology, maintain a special office in the Pentagon dedicated exclusively to the U.S.-India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), focus on enhancing India’s operational capabilities, and promote co-production/co-development opportunities. For India, it encourages the government to authorize combined military planning with the United States for missions of mutual interest such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, counter piracy, and maritime domain awareness.

“Defense trade between our countries is one of the strongest areas of the bilateral economic relationship and has risen from some $300 million to over $14 billion over the last 10 years. This bill not only puts India on par with other NATO allies in terms of the notification period, it sends a clear signal to Washington and Delhi that defense cooperation should be a top priority for both governments. That’s why we have supported this bill from the very beginning and we thank Congressman Holding for his leadership in promoting deeper defense ties between the U.S. and India,” said Mukesh Aghi, President of the U.S.-India Business Council.

“Together the U.S. and India face a range of shared security challenges and I believe we should be encouraging deeper defense ties and closer cooperation between our countries. The U.S.-India Defense Technology and Partnership Act will build upon the recent progress made to strengthen our strategic partnership by facilitating closer collaboration, promoting greater defense trade, and by elevating India’s status,” said Congressman George Holding.