Washington DC : Sanjay Puri, Chairman of USINPAC, issued a strong statement commending Chairman Brad Sherman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation and Congressman Joe Wilson for offering H.R. 2123, the United States-India Enhanced Cooperation Act of 2019. Mr. Holding, Ms. Gabbard, Mr. Yoho and Mr. Bera are also cosponsors. A hearing has not been held on the bill yet but the introduction of the bill is an important step forward.
The bill requests that the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State “jointly take such actions as may be necessary to recognize India’s status as a Major Defense Partner of the United States, consistent with the June 7, 2016 India-United States Joint Statement.”
H.R. 2123 states, “the leaders of the two countries reached an understanding under which India would receive license-free access to a wide range of dual-use technologies in conjunction with steps that India has committed to take to advance its export control objectives.” The United States “committed to work toward facilitating technology sharing with and transfer of advanced strategic military capability to India on a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners.”
“The Indian American community has long advocated for defense trade and technology cooperation between India and the United States, and we are proud that if passed, as a stand alone bill or attached as an amendment to the Defense bill, this legislation would, among other things, make India a Major Defense Partner by streamlining the transfer of dual-use technologies,” Puri said. “But we have a ways to go and this is why USINPAC remains at the forefront in calling for Congressional support. Indian Americans must make their voices heard and call upon Members in the House and Senate to advance H.R. 2123 and prioritize the U.S.-India strategic relationship.”
“We must press for policies, as H.R. 2123 does, that will encourage authorization of defense sales and export to India,” Puri stated. “India is very important to U.S. interests in the Asia Pacific region, and elsewhere.” On June 13, 2019, USINPAC submitted testimony before the Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation regarding U.S. interests in South Asia and called for the U.S. to redouble efforts to bolster relations with India and Indian Americans
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