US House passes $700 billion bill on defence co-operation with India

Last Updated: Sat, Jul 15, 2017 09:47 hrs
President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hug while making statements in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington.

Washington: The US House of Representatives has passed a USD 621.5 billion defence policy bill that proposes to advance defence cooperation with India.

An amendment in this regard, moved by Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera, was adopted by a voice vote by the House as part of the National Defense Authorisation Act 2018, beginning October 1 this year. NDAA-2018 was passed by the House 344-81.

The India-related amendment passed by the House requires the Secretary of Defence, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to develop a strategy for advancing defence cooperation between the United States and India.

"The United States is the world's oldest democracy and India is the world's largest democracy. It is vitally important to develop a strategy that advances defence cooperation between our two nations," Bera said.

"I am grateful this amendment passed and look forward to the Defence Department's strategy that addresses critical issues like common security challenges, the role of partners and allies, and areas for collaboration in science and technology," he said.

"Cooperation between the US and India enhances our own defence and our ability to meet the evolving security challenges of the 21st century," Bera said.

Following the passage of the National Defence Authorisation Act, the Secretary of Defence and Secretary of State have 180 days to develop a strategy for advancing defence cooperation between the United States and India.

NDAA needs to be passed by the Senate before it can be sent to the White House for the US President Donald Trump to sign into law.

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