US House of Representatives passes bill to boost defence cooperation with India
The Act now needs the approval of the US Senate before it can be sent to the White House for the approval fo the US President Donald Trump.
The US House of Representatives on 14 July 2017 passed National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA) 2018, a USD 621.5 billion defence policy bill that proposes to advance defence cooperation with India. NDAA-2018 was passed by the House 344-81.
An amendment in this regard was moved by Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera. The Act now needs the approval of the US Senate before it can be sent to the White House for the approval fo the US President Donald Trump.
Following the passage of the National Defence Authorisation Act, 2018, the Secretary of Defence and Secretary of State have 180 days to develop a strategy for advancing defence cooperation between the United States and India.
Provisions of the Bill
• NDAA-2018 asks the State Department and the Pentagon to develop a strategy that addresses common security challenges, the role of American partners and allies in India-US defence relationship and role of the defence technology and trade initiative.
• It also asks them to address how to boost the communications and security agreement and the basic exchange and cooperation agreement for geospatial cooperation.
• It supports the massive hike in defence spending proposed by President Donald Trump, focussing on missile defence, adding more troops and ships, a 2.4 percent salary increase for soldiers.
The previous NDAA-2017 had designated India as a major defence partner that brought India at par with closest American partners in terms of defence trade and technology transfer.