Business advocacy group U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) has applauded the U.S. House of Representative for approving pro-India amendments to a defence bill which would bolster bilateral defense ties on par with NATO allies of U.S. in terms of sale of weapons and technology transfer.
The amendment which institutionalises the U.S. government’s focus on the U.S.-India security relationship, was passed by a voice vote last week. Moved by Congressmen George Holding and supported by Ed Royce, Eliot Engel and Ami Bera, the amendment was incorporated into the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) 2017.
“It sends a powerful signal to New Delhi that the U.S. is a reliable and dependable defence partner,” USIBC said in a statement. “This legislation will promote defence trade between our countries and will strengthen military ties. We look forward to the Senate taking action on similar legislation,” said USIBC President Mukesh Aghi.
For the U.S., the legislation encourages the executive branch to designate an official to focus on U.S.-India defence cooperation, facilitate the transfer of defence technology, maintain a special office in the Pentagon dedicated exclusively to the U.S.-India Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), enhance India’s military capabilities in the context of combined military planning and promote co- production/co-development opportunities.
For India, it encourages the government to authorise 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.