Monday, February 26, 2007

U.S., India Adjust Policies to enable greater trade in high technology

The U.S.A. and India agreed to begin adjusting their policies to enable greater trade in high technology, part of efforts to cement their fast-growing economic and political relations.

The U.S.-India High Technology Cooperation Group produced plans to ease U.S. export controls for selected Indian buyers, while tightening India’s regime governing exports of industrial items with military applications, US Assistant Secretary of Commerce Christopher Padilla told reporters.

The United States is committed to “clear up the Cold War cobwebs” of U.S. curbs on dual-use technology that imposed restrictions on pro-Soviet India, he said after the two-day meeting of government officials and business executives.

Washington has identified Indian technology companies that will be eligible for the U.S. “Trusted Customer Program” of streamlined or waived licensing requirements for buyers with good records of compliance with nonproliferation treaties.

India would be included in a program, proposed last year and under U.S. governmental inter-agency review that will also cover China and other states, Padilla said. To facilitate trade in chemicals, military supplies and other technology, Washington presented lists to New Delhi of products for which it wants India to bring its policies in line with international anti-proliferation standards.

Experts from the two countries would meet in several months and conduct a
“product-by-product comparison of the Indian control lists with the four major multilateral control regimes,”
Padilla said.

India’s policies on exports of nuclear technology and missiles were getting close to those of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime, he said.

India was also moving closer to harmony with the controls of the Australia Group, which aims to prevent chemical and biological materials from being sold to countries or others that would use them in weapons, said Padilla.

New Delhi still needed to close large gaps in its policies with those of the Wassenaar Arrangement, which governs dual-use items and conventional weapons, he added.

The United States and India dramatically advanced their relations in 2005 when visiting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President George W. Bush signed a host of agreements, including a deal that, when finalized, would allow US sales of civilian nuclear equipment and fuel to India.

via: Globalservicesmedia

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