A group of half a dozen influential American lawmakers has reintroduced an important legislation in the House of Representatives which seeks to advance the US-India strategic relationship.
According to officials, the act if enacted, the legislation would ensure that the US State Department treat India as a NATO ally for the purposes of the Arms Export Control Act. It would send a powerful signal that defence sales to India should be prioritised according to US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, which had worked on this important legislation. The bill H R 2123 was introduced this week by Congressman Joe Wilson, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
She said , ‘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’.
The original co-sponsors of the legislation are Congressman Ami Bera — the longest serving Indian-American in Congress — and the House India Caucus Co-Chairs, Congressmen George Holding, Brad Sherman and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and Congressman Ted Yoho. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal 2017 included special language recognising the unique US-India defence relationship that designated India as a Major Defence Partner of the United States.