The Trump administration has decided to place India in the Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1) list that will ease export controls for high technology product sales to the country.
The granting of STA-1 status to India comes after the US recognised India as a “major defence partner” in 2016. India is the only south Asian nation to be given the designation along with the US’ NATO allies like South Korea, Australia and Japan.
Announcing the STA-1 tag at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum on July 30, US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross called it “a very important change” in India’s status in the export control regime.
India welcomed the decision. It is a logical culmination to India’s designation as a major defence partner of the US and a “reaffirmation” of its “impeccable record” as a responsible member of the concerned multilateral export control regimes, said Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs.
So what is STA status is all about?
STA is the licence exemption that allows a set of items on the Commerce Control List to be exported from the US under defined conditions without a transaction-specific licence, as per Descartes Customs Info.
The STA exception is relevant to exports, re-exports and transfers for which a licence is required under the Export Administration Regulations – one of the two important US export control laws that affect the manufacturing, sales and distribution of technology.
Benefits of STA-1 status to India
STA Tier 1 treatment, comparable with NATO allies, will expand the scope of exports subject to the EAR that can be made to India without individual licences. This regulatory change will enhance the bilateral defence trade relationship and result in a greater volume of US exports to India.
This will help India getting critical and latest technology from the US in the defence as well as certain other key areas.
It is also a boost for the foundational Communications, Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), as per Hindustan Times.