Granting India STA-1 status sign of trust in bilateral relationship: Indian envoy

The Trump administration placing India in the Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1) list, that eases the export of high-tech items to it, is a sign of trust by the US on India’s capabilities as an economic and a security partner and boosts the bilateral defence partnership in a big way, India’s top diplomat in Washington said on Tuesday.

STA allows for license exception with regards to exports from the US. This type of US government authorization allows a certain item to be exported under defined conditions without a transaction-specific license.

Items eligible for export to STA-1 nations include those under control for national security, chemical or biological weapons, nuclear non-proliferation, regional stability, crime control.

The categories also include electronics, lasers, and sensors, information security, computers and electronics, navigation, telecommunications, aerospace, etc.

The move means that India can get easy access to latest defense technologies, with the reduction of the number of licenses needed for exports from the US.

It is also a boost for the foundational Communications, Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA).

STA-1 provides India with greater supply chain efficiency, both for defense and for other high-tech products.

The status eases export controls for high technology product sales to India, granting it the same access as NATO allies — Australia, Japan, and South Korea.

India and the United States share an interest in countering China’s expanding economic and military weight and the United States has emerged as a top arms supplier to India, selling more than $15 billion of weapons over the past decade as New Delhi modernizes its Soviet-era military.

Looking at current exports from the US to India, 50% of those are eligible now under STA-1. This can free up $2.1 billion in trade, make US exporters more competitive in the global marketplace, help provide India more advanced US technology.

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