The Trump administration's decision to ease export controls for high-technology product sales to India by placing it in the Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 list of countries will benefit the US manufacturers while continuing to protect its national security, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said.
India became the only South Asian nation to get designated as a Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1) country by the US earlier this week. The granting of STA-1 status to India comes after the US recognised it as a "Major Defence Partner" in 2016.
"India's new status will benefit US manufacturers while continuing to protect our national security," Ross said in a tweet.
Ross had made an announcement about granting of STA-1 status during the first Indo-Pacific Business Form meeting organised by the US Chambers of Commerce on Monday.
"We have granted to India Strategic Trade Authorisation (STA-1)," Ross had announced, adding that this is a very important change in India's status in the export control regime.
The designation authorises the export, re-export and transfer (in-country) of specified items on the Commerce Control List (CCL) to destinations posing a low risk of unauthorised or impermissible uses.
Currently, 36 countries, mostly all the NATO countries, have this status. Other Asian countries as STA-1 are Japan and South Korea. Till recently India was designated as STA-2 countries along with seven others.
"We calculate that it will be a competitive advantage for the US, in terms of supplying those kinds of products to India. It looks as though over the last seven years, some USD 9.7 billion of products would have been affected, so it's a meaningful-sized number. And probably, it'll be much more than that because a lot of things they knew wouldn't be exportable, they didn't order from us," Ross said.
"And that's a very important change in their status under our export control regime. It acknowledges the US-India security and economic relationship. What it does is it comes under the Export Administration Rules, and it authorises the export, reexport and in-country transfer of specific items to destinations that the US regards as low risk,” he said.