Sector Expertise

Aerospace & Defense


Background

Background

 

The Council’s Aerospace and Defense Executive Committee promotes connections among business, government, and thought leaders in order to expand U.S.-India cooperation in Aerospace, Defense, Homeland and Cyber Security, and Civil Aviation. As a prominent platform and unique conduit for information and analysis, the committee offers a clear and informed voice on defense trade policy issues such as technology release and transfer, acquisition and procurement, offsets and industrial partnership, co-production and co-development opportunities. We promote streamlined FMS/DCS/Hybrid sales and acquisitions procedures, assist our members in navigating through these processes, and match American and Indian private sector entities to promote new business partnerships.

Value to USIBC Members

  • Business Intelligence: The council keeps track of political, economic and regulatory factors that affect business development opportunities for our members such as changes in India’s defense procurement procedures, new agreements between the U.S. and Indian governments, and strategic engagements by industry and government leaders.
  • Advocacy: We consistently encourage Indian Defense Procurement Policy reform on issues such as FDI caps, indigenization requirements, offsets flexibility and retroactivity, and other issues that affect the viability of defense trade such as policy changes in manufacturing and information security.
  • Networking: The council leads executive missions that connect our member companies with decision makers in the Indian and U.S. defense communities. These include missions to DefEx and AeroIndia along with tailored trips to New Delhi and Indian state capitals.
  • Branding: Companies take advantage of the council’s activities to showcase their company’s products and services at high profile events.

Our Position

Our Position

Customized Advocacy

  • The Council provides customized advocacy on issues such as licensing, single vendor situations, interaction with state officials and government ministries, partnering with Defense Public Sector Undertakings (DPSU), and various U.S. legislation.

Defense

  • Informing India’s Defense Procurement Policy reform by highlighting the policy environment necessary to increase ease of doing business for American OEMs, promote technology transfer, and integrate Indian industry into global supply chains. Issues include: Foreign Direct Investment caps, indigenization requirements, offsets flexibility and retroactivity, and other issues that affect the viability of defense trade.
  • Promoting policy changes in manufacturing and information security, end use monitoring and enabling increased technology release and co-production and co-development of defense systems.
  • Enabling the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) by informing the Joint Technical Group (JTG), Defense Procurement Production Group (DPPG), and Defense Policy Group (DPG) with industry’s perspective.

Civil Aviation

  • Tax reform for aviation turbine fuel, MRO imported-components, and airport tariffs.
  • Promoting greater clarity in India’s Civil Aviation policies and the adoption of global standards for issues such as ground handling, “under the wing” operations, landing clearance timelines, crew-member and pilot visas for Part 91 and 121 aircraft, and Flexible Use of Airspace.

Committee Accomplishments

Committee Accomplishments

  • Early supporter of U.S. designation of India as a “Major Defense Partner” in 2016 law making it eligible for defense technologies on par with America’s closest allies.
  • Championed India’s eligibility for Strategic Trader Authorization 1 status to facilitate trade in Commerce Control Listed sensitive items.
  • Advocated for India to sign the 2018 Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), which allows for advanced defense systems to be sold to India.
  • Invited to review and provide consultation on India Defense Procurement Procedure reforms, including revised offset policy.
  • Advised implementing arms of the U.S-India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).
  • Advocated for greater Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) allowance in India’s defense sector.
  • Led annual Executive Missions to Aero India and Def-Expo, increased engagement with Ministry of Defense and Armed Services leadership, including acquisition & offset bureaucracy.

Contact

Contact

Benjamin Schwartz leads the U.S.-India Business Council’s Defense and Aerospace program. In this capacity, he advocates for pro-trade policies before senior officials in the Office of the Indian Prime Minister, Indian Ministry of Defense, Indian Ministry of External Affairs as well as in Washington D.C. before U.S. Armed Services, Foreign Affairs and other congressional committee staffs and a myriad of executive branch agencies, including the National Security Council, State Department, Commerce Department and Defense Department.

Schwartz previously served in a range of positions within the U.S. national security community, including at the Department of State, Department of Energy, and Department of Defense. As Director for India in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, he directly supported Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Undersecretary Frank Kendall in implementing the U.S.-India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative. In this capacity, Schwartz was instrumental in establishing groundbreaking U.S.-India aircraft carrier and jet engine technology cooperation and securing Prime Minister Modi and President Obama’s commitment to new private sector DTTI “pathfinder projects”. Within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Schwartz also served as the Director for Singapore and the South China Seas as well as an advisor for Special Operations, Combating Terrorism and Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction. He is the author of Right of Boom (Overlook Press, 2015), which focuses on threats posed by nuclear weapons and his unclassified writings have appears in journals such as the Wall Street Journal, The American Interest, the Diplomat, the Washington Post, and Orbis as well as various newspapers.

For more information or to join USIBC’s Aerospace & Defense Executive Committee, please click here. For any media queries, please click here.