US sends a political message to China: grants special status to India
Washington:India has become the third Asian country after Japan and South Korea to get the Strategic Trade Authorization-1 (STA-1) status after the US issued a federal notification to this effect, paving the way for high-technology product sales to New Delhi, particularly in civil space and defence sectors. India is the 37th country to be designated the STA-1 status by the United States. The federal notification, issued on Friday, gains significance as the Trump Administration made an exception for India, which is yet to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Traditionally, the US has placed only those countries in the STA-1 list who are members of the four export control regimes: Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), Wassenaar Arrangement (WA), Australia Group (AG) and the NSG. In its federal notification, the Trump Administration notes that India is a member of three of the four multilateral export regimes. Mainly because of the political opposition from China, India’s membership application has been pending before NSG, which takes decision by consensus. By placing India in the STA-1 list, the United States has acknowledged that for all practical purposes India adheres to the export control regimes of the NSG. This exception for New Delhi is intended to send a strong political message to China and the world, taking into account that America’s closest ally Israel is yet to be given this status, primarily because it is not a member of these multilateral export control regimes. “This action befits India’s status as a Major Defence Partner and recognises” the country’s membership in three of the four export control regimes–the MTCR, WA and AG, the federal notification said. This rule is another in the series of rules that implement reforms to which the US and India mutually agreed to promote global non-proliferation, expand high technology cooperation and trade, and ultimately facilitate India’s full membership in the four multilateral export control regimes. This rule also makes conforming amendments, the federal notification said. According to the notification, the US and India continue their commitment to work together to strengthen the global non-proliferation and export control framework and further transform bilateral export control cooperation to recognise the full potential of the global strategic partnership between the two countries. This commitment has been realised in the two countries’ mutually agreed-upon steps to expand cooperation in civil space, defence, and other high-technology sectors and the complementary steps of the US to realign India in US export control regulations, and support India’s membership in the four multilateral export control regimes, it said.