The United States House of Representatives has passed an amendment to National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA), 2018, a $621.5 billion defence expenditure bill to advance defence cooperation with India.
India related amendment in the bill was adopted by a voice vote in the House by 344-81. Now, NDAA needs to be passed by the US Senate before it can be sent to US President Donald Trump to sign into law.
The India-related amendment in NDAA 2018, requires the US Secretary of Defence, in consultation with the Secretary of State to develop a strategy for advancing defence cooperation between US and India.
The amendment asks the State Department and Pentagon to develop a strategy to addresses common security challenges, the role of US partners and allies in India-US defence relationship, and role of the defence technology and trade initiative. It also asks them to address issues to advance communications interoperability and security memorandum of agreement and the basic exchange and cooperation agreement for geospatial cooperation.
National Defense Authorisation Act
The NDAA is a United States federal law specifying the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defence. Each year’s NDAA also includes other provisions. The US Congress oversees the defence budget primarily through two yearly bills: the NDAA and Defense appropriations bills.
They are authorization bill that determines the US agencies responsible for defence, establishes funding levels and sets the policies under which money will be spent. The NDAA-2017 had designated India as a major defence partner of US. This designation had brought India at par with closest partners of US in terms of defence trade and technology transfer.