(Image source from: DNA India)
The United States on Monday designating India as a Strategic Trade Authorization-1 (STA-1) country eased the export controls for high-technology product sales to it. With this, India has become the only South Asian nation to be on the list.
The U.S. in 2016 had recognized India as a "Major Defence Partner", a designation that allows India to buy more advanced and sensitive technologies from America at par with that of the U.S. closest allies and partners and ensures enduring cooperation into the future.
The U.S. commerce secretary Wilbur Ross proclaimed that "We have granted to India Strategic Trade Authorization STA-1," adding that this is "a very important change" in India's status in the export control regime.
Ross said the STA-1 designation "acknowledges" the India-U.S. security and economic relationship.
The export, re-export, and transfer (in-country) of specified items on the Commerce Control List (CCL) will be authorized by designation to destinations posing a low risk of unauthorized or forbidden uses.
In the STA-1 list, there are currently 36 countries.
Ross said that India has partnered with the U.S. to improve its own export control regimes and has met most of the export control rules which the U.S. thinks are useful.
STA-1 status, Ross said, provides India with greater supply chain conditions for defense and other high-tech products. It increases the integrity with the U.S. systems and reduces time and resources needed to get licenses approved, the Commerce Secretary said.
According to the Department of Commerce, items that are eligible for export to STA1 destinations or nationals include items that are subject to control for: national security (NS), chemical or biological weapons (CB), nuclear nonproliferation (NP), regional stability (RS), crime control (CC) and significant items (SI).
Experts believe that looking at current exports from the U.S. to India, 50 percent of those eligible does not require a license under STA-1.
This can free USD 2.1 billion in trade, make the U.S. exporters more competitive in the global marketplace, help provide India more advanced the U.S. technology.
Schwartz, over the past few years, said India has fundamentally built robust export control procedures that the U.S. government is competent in terms of their security and the fact that when things are exported there they will remain controlled and not be diverted to alternative users.
By Sowmya Sangam