STA 1 Current Affairs - 2020

9th India-US Defence Technologies and Trade Initiative

The ninth India-US Defence Technologies and Trade Initiative (DTTI) group meeting is scheduled to happen in New Delhi in last week of October. DTTI is a flexible mechanism and not a treaty or law, which makes sure that senior leaders from both countries are engaged consistently to strengthen opportunities in field of defence.

What is Defence Technologies and Trade Initiative (DTTI)?

Objective: Its main aim includes strengthening India’s defence industrial base, exploring new areas of technological development and expanding U.S.-India business ties.

DTTI came about to expedite scope of cooperation between partner countries on defence technology that become narrow due to presence of differing bureaucratic processes and legal requirements. But essentially, DTII is an initiative to provide increased US senior level oversight and engagement to get beyond these obstacles.

DTTI initiative is led by Undersecretary of Defence for Acquisition and Sustainment from US and Secretary for Defence Protection from India.

Background

The 8th session of DTTI was held on February 2018 in New Delhi and was co-chaired by Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff from India and Acting Director, International Cooperation from US. Also, in August 2018, US granted to India the designation of Strategic Trade Authority Tier 1 (or STA-1).  The STA-1 authorisation is equivalent of NATO allying with Japan, South Korea and Australia and it provides India with greater supply-chain efficiency by allowing US companies to export a greater range of dual-use as well as high-tech items to India under  a smmoth streamlined processes.

STA-1: India becomes first South Asian country to get access to US cutting-edge technology

United States has designated India as Strategic Trade Authorization-1 (STA-1) country that will allow country to buy highly advanced and cutting-edge sensitive technologies from America. This coveted status brings India in par with US’s closest allies and partners such as NATO.

STA-1 designation authorizes export, re-export and transfer (in-country) of specified items on Commerce Control List to destinations posing a low risk of unauthorised or impermissible uses. Currently there are 36 countries on STA-1 list. India is only South Asian country to be on the list. Other Asian countries designated as STA-1 are Japan and South Korea.

Key Facts

Under STA-1, India and US have reached understanding under which India will receive license-free access to wide range of dual-use technologies in conjunction with steps that India has committed to take to advance its export control objectives. STA-1 treatment will expand scope of technology exports subject to Export Administration Regulations (EAR) that can be made to India without individual licenses. It will further enhance bilateral defence trade relationship and result in a greater volume of US exports to India.

Significance

This new designation reflects India’s membership in three of four multilateral export control regimes, as well development of its national export control system. It will allow US companies to more efficiently export much wider range of products to Indian high technology and military customers. It will benefit US manufacturers while continuing to protect its national security.

It will provide India greater supply chain efficiency, both for defence and for other high-tech products that will increase activity with US systems, interoperability of systems and will reduce time and resources needed to get licensing approved. It will improve India’s partnership with United States to improve its own export control regimes and has met most of the export control rules which the US thinks is useful. It will be also competitive advantage for US, in terms of supplying those kinds of products to India.