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US lawmakers introduce legislation seeking strengthening of US-India partnership

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

A bipartisan group of half a dozen influential American lawmakers has reintroduced an important legislation in the which seeks to advance the US-strategic relationship.

If enacted, the legislation would ensure that the treat as a NATO ally for the purposes of the Arms Export Control Act.

It would send a powerful signal that defence sales to 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 of the

"India is the world's largest democracy, a pillar of stability in the region, and has shown strong commitments to export control policies," said Wilson.

"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 (USISPF), led by Dr Mukesh Aghi, and their support for this legislation," he said.

The original co-sponsors of the legislation are Congressman the longest serving Indian-American in and the House India Caucus Co-Chairs, Congressmen George Holding, and Congresswoman and Congressman

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

The language seeks unique consideration for trade and with India and increased attention and support to advance this relationship in the areas of defence trade and

"The legislation bolsters national security and helps ensure full alignment between the and the

"Such a change will institutionalise the gains made in the relationship and provide a more stable foundation upon which both countries can solidify this unique defence partnership," said.

Although powerful in its own right, the NDAA FY 2017 has no legal bearing on the State Department's body of legislation, nor does it compel the State Department to view defence with India more favourably, said in a statement.

To fulfil the spirit and intent of the NDAA 2017, the US-India Enhanced Cooperation Act would amend the Arms Export Control Act to put India on par with NATO allies and Israel, South Korea, New Zealand, and

"We applaud Congressman Wilson's leadership in reintroducing this important bill. We are confident the US will continue to enact legislation that bolsters the bilateral. The great power competition is not lost on Members of Congress, who understand the strategic imperative for a deeper relationship with India," said Aghi, of

"This legislation would be a major breakthrough for the US-India defense relationship. As of USISPF, I support this move because it would ultimately further strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries. The future is bright for the US-India relationship and we hope this legislation is enacted soon," USISPF said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 12 2019. 06:25 IST