A new provision prioritising defence ties with India in a US federal legislation, which deals with the budget and expenditures of the Department of Defence, would boost defence trade and strategic ties with India, American lawmakers and industry representatives said.
The India provision in the National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA) 2017 directs US Defence Department and Department of State to prioritise defence cooperation with India.
“The robust language in this year’s NDAA recognises India’s importance and will allow us to maintain this momentum and reach the full potential of this increasingly dynamic relationship in support of global peace and prosperity,” said Senator Mark Warner, co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus.
Passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate, NDAA 2017 now heads to the White House for President Barack Obama for his approval.
Section 1292 of NDAA – Enhancing Defence and Security Cooperation with India – directs the US Defence Department and Department of State to prioritise defence cooperation with India through a series of policies and organisational actions.
Marc Allen, president of Boeing International said the company is grateful for the government’s broad-based support of the NDAA 2017. “Bilateral cooperation to enhance regional security and the role of US industry in that effort serves the interests of both countries,” he said in a statement.
Congressman George Holding, co-Chair of the House India Caucus, said the language in the NDAA will help promote greater military-to-military cooperation and increase opportunities for defence trade between the two nations.
“I look forward to working in the coming year on additional measures with my colleagues to further strengthen our strategic partnership with India,” Holding said.
Observing that the strategic and commercial imperatives for expanding US defence cooperation with India are profound, Mukesh Aghi, president of US-India Business Council, said through this legislation Congress sends clear directions about the way forward, which link US bureaucratic and regulatory changes to national security and commercial objectives.