U.S. Industry Roundtable at Aero India 2019
The very impressive U.S. Government delegation led by Ambassador Kenneth I. Juster comprised of Consul General Robert Burgess, U.S. Consulate Chennai, Mr. Alan Shaffer, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (A&S), U.S. Department of Defense, Lieutenant General Charles Hooper, Director, Defense Security Cooperation Agency, MG Fontes, Defense Attaché, U.S. Embassy, and BG Sean Farrell, Air Force Security Assistance Command, met with U.S. industry participants.
India has become the third Asian country to get the Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1) status paving the way for high-technology product sales, particularly in civil space and defense sectors. The signing of Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) marked an important milestone in the strengthening of the U.S. – India partnership. Increasing bilateral, tri-service military exercises has been a welcome step in enhancing cooperation. Co-production and co-development linking Indian partners to the global suppliers has been a big boost towards employment in both the countries and needs to be accelerated. The roundtable gave industry players a wonderful opportunity to share with decision makers the challenges faced by industry in terms of expediting defense contract approvals, the updates to the offset policy and the standard contract terms. U.S. companies have been frequently at a disadvantage with non-U.S. competitors when selling defense equipment to India because of restrictive export control policy. The industry appealed to the U.S. government to emphasize the availability of defense technologies that are similar to the offerings of foreign manufactures and to advocate for expediting defense contract approvals.