US Senate passes legislative provision to give India NATO ally-like status

PTI (NEW DELHI, 2 July 2019) – In a move that will further boost collaboration between the two countries in defence, the US Senate has passed a legislative provision that brings India at par with America’s NATO allies like South Korea, Australia and Japan.

The National Defense Authorisation Act or NDAA for the fiscal year 2020 was passed by the US Senate last week. The Act provides for increased US-India defence cooperation in the Indian Ocean in the areas of humanitarian assistance, counterterrorism, counter-piracy and maritime security.

The House of Representatives is expected to take up its version of the NDAA sometime in July before legislators adjourn for the month-long August recess on July 29.

The US recognised India as a “Major Defence Partner” in 2016, a designation that allows India to buy more advanced and sensitive technologies from America at par with that of the US’ closest allies and partners.

In July 2018, the Donald Trump-led administration granted India the status of Strategic Trade Authorization-1 (STA-1) country, the only South Asian nation to be given the designation along with the US’ NATO allies. The move will ease export controls for high technology product sales to India.

The Hindu American Foundation lauded the Senate for their efforts in advancing the US-India strategic partnership. “Elevating India to non-NATO status is vital, now more than ever, for the US, for India, and for the entire region,” said HAF managing director Samir Kalra.

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