• A bipartisan group in the US House of Representatives has reintroduced an important piece legislation that will tag India as a ‘NATO ally” for the purposes of Arms Export Control.
• If the bill is approved, the US State Department will treat India on par with other NATO countries with regards to defence deals. Congressman Joe Wilson, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced the bill HR 2123 this week.
• “India is the world’s largest democracy, a pillar of stability in the region, and has shown strong commitments to export control policies,” Wilson said, as reported by PTI.
• “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 Mukesh Aghi, and their support for this legislation,” he added.
Deeper Security Cooperation
• The designation of “NATO ally” will significantly strengthen defence cooperation between the two countries and quicken the pace of finalising arms deals. While the US remains the largest and most technologically advanced arms manufacturer in the world, India is the second largest importer of weapons.
• HR 2123 builds upon the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2017 passed by the US that termed India as a “Major Defence Partner” of the United States.
Mains Paper 2 : Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and agreements involving India |
Prelims level : HR 2123
Mains level : India-US strategic relationship