Trump administration puts India on exclusive high technology list for trade purposes

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. (Photo:

United States Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced July 30, that India has been put on the Tier 1 level in the U.S. Strategic Trade Authorization (STA) license exception.

India’s status as a Major Defense Partner will allow it to receive more U.S. high technology and military items without individual export licenses, Secretary Ross announced shortly after participating in the Indo-Pacific Business Forum held at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

India’s status as a trading partner on sensitive technologies will now equal that of Washington’s NATO allies, expanding the scope of exports subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) that can be made to India without individual licenses, the Commerce Department said in a press release. “This regulatory change will enhance the bilateral defense trade relationship and result in a greater volume of U.S. exports to India,” it added.

Over the last seven years, approximately $9.7 billion worth of licensed exports to India may now eligible for export under this license exception, the Commerce Department said.

“India’s status as a Major Defense Partner led to its becoming a Strategic Trade Authorization (STA) Tier 1 country, comparable to our NATO allies, under the Department of Commerce’s Export Administration Regulations,” Secretary Ross is quoted saying in the press release. “This reflects India’s membership in three of the four multilateral export control regimes, as well the development of its national export control system. U.S. companies will be able to more efficiently export a much wider range of products to Indian high technology and military customers.  India’s new status will benefit U.S. manufacturers while continuing to protect our national security,” Ross added.

“It is a sign of trust not only in the relationship but also on India’s capabilities an economy and as security partner, because it also presupposes that India has the multilateral export control regime in place, which would allow the transfer of more sensitive defence technologies and dual use technologies to India and without the risk of any proliferation,” India’s Ambassador to the U.S. Navtej Sarna is quoted saying according to a Press Trust of India report.

The Department of Commerce made the announcement as part of its plan to dedicate three of its upcoming flagship events to Indo-Pacific themes:

  • Discover Global Markets (DGM): Indo-Pacific – will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah, December 10-12, 2018 and aims to highlight opportunities for U.S. exporters in Asia. It will kick-off recruitment for the Trade Winds: India.
  • Trade Winds: India – will take place in New Delhi in the spring of 2019. It will be a conference and trade mission to India and other surrounding countries where U.S. exporters will meet with decision-makers on opportunities they have learned about at DGM and Access Asia events.
  • Trade Winds: Hong Kong – intended to take place in Hong Kong in the spring of 2020. It would bring U.S. exporters back to Asia to close deals and explore more opportunities.

These events are part of the Department’s Access Asia program – a new export promotion framework to increase U.S. trade and investment in the Indo-Pacific region. Access Asia is a series of 25 trade promotion outreach events in cities across the U.S. that is sequential, multi-year, data and opportunity driven, and optimizes U.S. Government resources.

The Department said it has already reached more than 200 U.S. companies under Access Asia, and these companies are pursuing new opportunities and taking advantage of U.S. government resources available to them.  There are upcoming Access Asia events in Dallas, Texas; Fort Worth, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona; Irvine, California; and Denver, Colorado.




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