India 31 July 2018 welcomed the US’ decision to ease export controls for high technology product sales to it, saying the move will further boost collaboration between the two countries in defense and certain other areas. The Trump administration announced yesterday granting India the status of Strategic Trade Authorization-1 (STA-1) country, the only South Asian nation to be given the designation along with the US’ NATO allies like South Korea, Australia, and Japan.
The STA-1 status will help India getting critical technology from the US in the defense and certain other key areas. “We welcome the announcement made by US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in the Indo-Pacific Business Forum on July 30 about the US government’s decision to move India into Tier-1 of the Department of Commerce’s Strategic Trade Authorisation license exception,” Kumar said.
In June 2016, the US had designated India as “Major Defence Partner” intending to elevate defense trade and technology sharing with India to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners. The designation authorizes the export, re-export, and transfer (in-country) of specified items on the Commerce Control List (CCL) to destinations posing a low risk of unauthorized or impermissible uses. Announcing the decision to granting India STA-1 status, Ross yesterday said it was “a very important change” in India’s status in the export control regime.
Currently, there are 36 countries on the STA-1 list. Till recently India was designated as STA-2 countries, along with seven others. The decision by the US comes over a month before the talks between India’s foreign and defense ministers with their US counterparts here under the framework of the ‘2+2′ dialogue.