Washington: Two top US lawmakers have introduced a legislation in the House of Representatives to designate India as a Special Global Partner of America and take steps to ramp up engagement and deepen bilateral collaboration on a host of issues including defence.
Introduced by Congressman Eliot Engel, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and vice-chair of the House Democratic Caucus Joe Crowley, the "Special Global Partnership with India Act 2016" aims to enhance ties between India and the US by elevating the status of the bilateral relationship.
The Special Global Partnership with India Act of 2016 calls for Congress to elevate the India-US relationship by designating India as a Special Global Partner of the US, leading to greater cooperation across sectors ranging from defense and space to entrepreneurship and innovation. It (HR 5387) would also amend the Arms Export Control Act, allowing the president to include India among our closest allies.
This bill would also authorise the US president to give India an exception to allow for strategic trade authority, and codify assistance in all areas that would support key priorities, such as education, growth in the digital sector, and environmental protection.
"This bill would give our relationship the status it deserves by naming India a Special Global Partner and ensuring that our close collaboration continues for years to come," Engel said after he introduced the Act after listening to the Prime Minister addressing the joint session of the US Congress.
"I just had the (honour) to watch Prime Minister Modi address a Joint Meeting of Congress, and it is clear that the United States and India are successfully steering our relationship from contention to cooperation," he said.
"From defence to scientific research, from climate change to economic innovation, we are working more closely with the people and government of India than ever before. Now we need to make those ties even stronger," Engel said.
"The US-India relationship — rooted in shared democratic values and strong people-to-people ties — is one of the world's most rapidly growing partnerships, and I believe that a strong US-India relationship should and will serve as a cornerstone of US foreign policy in decades ahead," Congressman Crowley said.
"By naming India a Special Global Partner, we can further solidify our critical, strategic partnership and continue our shared efforts in opening in the next chapter of US-India relations," Crowley said in a statement.