The US elevates India’s trade status to NATO - level ally

Issue: 4 / 2018

US on July 30, elevated India’s status as a trading partner to equal that it has accorded largely to its NATO allies, mostly for the purposes of speeding up the sale of high-tech defence and non-defence products that are otherwise subjected to strict controls and licensing.“We have granted to India Strategic Trade Authorization status STA-1 that’s (a) very important status under our export control regime and acknowledges US-India security and economic relationship,” said US secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum. The US has given STA-1 to only 36 countries most of whom are NATO or key non-NATO allies.The move, which will reduce the number of licences needed for US exports to India, means India can get easy access to the latest defence technologies. It could also mean a leg-up for the foundational Communications, Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) agreement which the US is keen to get India to sign and which is one of the three agreements that the US has with its closest military allies.