Washington DC :USINPAC has long advocated for defense trade and cooperation between India and the United States and is pleased that the Indian American community continues to play an important role in galvanizing support for Congressional action. Thanks to combined efforts from the community and bi-partisan support in Congress, the U.S. House voted on the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes language to promote defense cooperation between India and the U.S. through technology transfers and by considering new ways to recognize India as a Major Defense Partner of the United States.
Congressman Brad Sherman, who serves as Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation and also as co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, played a powerful role in pushing the envelope to include an amendment that would provide India with NATO equivalency. The language was modified to match Senate language advising the executive branch to strengthen and enhance its major defense partnership with India. The NDAA also provides for defense cooperation in the Western Indian Ocean in the areas of counter-piracy, maritime security, humanitarian assistance, and counterterrorism. This language was included in the Senate version by Senator John Cornyn and Senator Mark Warner, and by Congressmen Ami Bera, Joe Wilson, Sherman, Holding, Case, and Krishnamoorthi in the House version.
“I want to personally commend Chairman Sherman for laying the foundation for next steps to implement the Major Defense Partner designation of India,” said Sanjay Puri, Chairman of USINPAC. “I am confident that in time we will see this initiative move from advisement to law. For now, India and Indian Americans applaud greater cooperation in the Western Indian Ocean and look forward to continuing our work with Congress to ensure NATO equivalency for India.”
The House passed the NDAA by a vote of 220 to 197. “It is a testament to the strength of the Indian American community that Congress included language in the FY2020 NDAA in support of India,” Puri said. “Once more, I thank Chairman Sherman for including USINPAC’s testimony in the record calling for a redoubling of efforts to bolster the US-India partnership.” The House and Senate will now conference before presenting a final bill to President Trump for signature.
About USINPAC: USINPAC is a bi-partisan organization a voice of over 3.2 million Indian Americans. We connect our members to candidates of their choice. During the 2020 election cycle, we will be hosting events across the country to make sure Indian Americans are heard. If you would like to be part of this historic effort and bring about outcomes that matter, sign up for our email updates and get involved today at today at www.usinpac.com