A bipartisan team of half a dozen influential American lawmakers has re-introduced significant legislation in the House of Representatives, which looking forward to advancing the strategic relationship of US-India.
If enacted, the legislation ensures that the US State Department treated India as a ‘NATO ally’, amid the Arms Export Control Act.
It would send a powerpack signal that the defense sales to India should be valued as per US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, which worked hard on this vital legislation.
Congressman Joe Wilson has introduced the Bill HR 2123 this week. Wilson is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
He continued, “India is the world’s largest democracy, a pillar of stability in the region, and has shown strong commitments to export control policies.”
“This adjustment to US law will further allow the US-India partnership to flourish in line with our security commitment to the Indo-Pacific region. I am grateful for the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), led by Dr. Mukesh Aghi, and their support for this legislation,” added Mr. Wilson.
The main co-sponsors of the legislation are Congressman Ami Bera, who is the longest-serving India-US in the US Congress and the House India Caucus Co-Chairs, Congressmen Brad Sherman, George Holding, and Congressman Ted Yoho, and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.
The NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) for the fiscal year 2017 has included a special language that recognizes the unique US-India Defence relationship, which has already designated India as a “Major Defence Partner” of the United States.
The language seeks extraordinary consideration for technology and trade sharing with India has increased attention and support to advance the relationship in the areas of technology sharing and defence trade as well.
It continued that “the legislation bolsters national security and helps ensure full alignment between the Department of Defense and the Department of State.”
“Such a change will institutionalize the gains made in the relationship and provide a more stable foundation upon which both countries can solidify this unique defence partnership,” added USISPF.
However powerful in its own right, the NDAA FY 2017 has no legal bearing on the State Department’s body of legislation, not does it urged the State Department to view defence with India more positively, said the USISPF in a statement.
The complete the spirit and intent of the NDAA 2017, the India-US Enhanced Cooperation Act revised the Arms Export Control Act to put India on par with NATO allies and New Zealand, Israel, Japan, South Korea, and Australia.
President and CEO of USISPF, Aghi said that “We applaud Congressman Wilson’s leadership in reintroducing this important bill. We are confident the US Congress will continue to enact legislation that bolsters the bilateral. The great power competition is not lost on Members of Congress, who understand the strategic imperative for a deeper relationship with India.”
“This legislation would be a major breakthrough for the US-India defense relationship. As Chairman of USISPF, I support this move because it would ultimately further strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries. The future is bright for the US-India relationship and we hope this legislation is enacted soon,” said the USISPF Chairman John Chambers.