FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 20, 2017

U.S.-India Business Council Applauds Senate Bill to Advance Defense Cooperation between U.S., India

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. India Business Council welcomes the U.S. Senate’s inclusion of a provision to advance defense cooperation between the U.S. and India in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.

This legislation further institutionalizes the U.S. government’s focus on the U.S.-India security relationship by requiring that the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State, develop a strategy for advancing defense cooperation, promote defense job creation, further articulate the benefits of Major Defense Partner status, promote the competitiveness of U.S. defense exports to India, and designate a U.S. government official explicitly tasked with meeting these responsibilities.

“Senators Warner, Sullivan, Cornyn and Cruz deserve praise for maintaining Congress’s focus on this essential defense partnership – a relationship with tremendous commercial and strategic imperatives,” said Khush Choksy, acting president of the U.S.-India Business Council.

“This amendment sends an important message to both the executive branch and the Indian government, reaffirming that as a Major Defense Partner, the U.S. government elevates defense trade and technology cooperation to a level commensurate with the closest of allies and partners,” said Ben Schwartz, senior director for Defense and Aerospace for the U.S.-India Business Council.

“American industry understands and appreciates that this facilitates technology sharing between the two countries.” Marc Allen, president of Boeing International said, “The Boeing Company strongly supports this bipartisan amendment to enhance U.S.-India ties with one of our most important strategic relationships around the world.”

“As the world’s largest democracies, the United States and India share many common values and have many overlapping interests, especially in the area of defense,” said Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK). “I’m pleased to be able to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to continue highlighting the close defense cooperation between the U.S. and India. I am also happy to see that the National Defense Authorization Act, which just passed the Senate, included language demonstrating support for trilateral cooperation between the U.S., India, and Afghanistan. This collaboration will help strengthen the sovereignty and security of Afghanistan, which is both a regional and global interest.”

“India plays a critical role in our long-term national security interests, not just in the region, but around the globe. Our measure helps define the goals of that strategic partnership and the benefits of deepening U.S.-India defense cooperation,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA). “I’m pleased it was included in the defense authorization bill that passed the Senate. I look forward to our language being included in the final defense authorization bill and being signed into law so that the administration has clear guidance in how to continue to foster this important relationship.”

Formed in 1975 at the request of the U.S. and Indian governments, the U.S.-India Business Council is the premier business advocacy organization, comprised of 350 top-tier U.S. and Indian companies advancing U.S.-India commercial ties. USIBC is the largest bilateral trade association in the United States, with liaison presence in New York, Silicon Valley, and New Delhi.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. 

Contact: Sukanya Sen | 202-463-5682

Press Release