External Affairs

US Introduces Bill to Designate India as its Special Global Partner

Representational image. Credit: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz/Files

Representational image. Credit: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz/Files

Washington: Two top US lawmakers have introduced a legislation in the House of Representatives to designate India as a ‘special global partner’ of the US, and take steps to ramp up engagement and deepen bilateral collaboration on a host of issues, including defence.

Introduced by congressman and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel 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 Act will lead to greater cooperation across sectors ranging from defence and space to entrepreneurship and innovation.

If passed, this act will amend the Arms Export Control Act and allow the US president to include India among the country’s closest allies. It would also authorise the US president to give India an exception to allow for strategic trade authority and codify assistance in all areas that 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, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the joint session of 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 added. “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.”

“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. I believe that a strong US-India relationship should and will serve as a cornerstone of US foreign policy in decades ahead,” Crowley said in a statement. “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.”