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US House passes bill on defence co-operation with India

US House

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 Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) 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.

Following the passage of the National Defence Authorisation Act, the Secretary of Defence and Secretary of State has 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.

As passed by the House, NDAA-2018 asks the State Department and the Pentagon to develop a strategy that addresses common security challenges, the role of American partners and allies in India-US defence relationship, and role of the defence technology and trade initiative.

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