India-US defence trade to reach $18 billion this year: Pentagon

India-US trade, bilateral trade, defence trade, Pentagon, $18 billion, India-US Defence Technologies and Trade Initiative group meeting, DTTI group meeting, Strategic Trade Authority Tier-1, NATO allies
Ellen M Lord, Undersecretary Of Defense For Acquisition And Sustainment said that the defence trade between India and the US will reach $18 billion by the end of this year. Representational image: iStock.

The Pentagon on Saturday (October 19) said that the bilateral defence trade between India and the US is estimated to reach $18 billion by the end of this year.

“Bilateral defence trade, essentially zero in 2008, will reach an estimated $18 billion later this year,” Ellen M Lord, Undersecretary Of Defense For Acquisition And Sustainment told reporters at the Pentagon.

She added that the US is committed to strengthening its partnership with India while initiating further military relationships and cooperation.

Also read: India, US seek early resolution on trade issues for building strong ties

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This statement came ahead of the ninth India-US Defence Technologies and Trade Initiative (DTTI) group meeting in New Delhi next week.

Lord will be travelling to New Delhi next week to co-chair the ninth DTTI group meeting with her co-chair Secretary for Defence Protection Apurva Chandra. “As the US Department of Defense leads for DTTI, I’m excited to continue working with our Indian major defence partner,” Lord said.

She also said that the US granted India the Strategic Trade Authority Tier-1 designation last August, providing New Delhi with greater supply-chain efficiency by allowing American companies to export a greater range of dual-use and high-technology items to India under streamlined processes.

Also read: NATO ally-like status for India: Natural and inevitable?

This grants India the same authorisation as NATO allies Japan, South Korea and Australia, she added. “All of these examples show how the United States and India are working bilaterally and in cooperation with other like-minded partners to advance our shared vision for the Indo-Pacific,” Lord claimed.

Responding to a question, she said that she personally has seen an uptick in the pace of movement in India and the willingness to engage. “We truly are developing some new capabilities together for production in India, as well as to be produced here,” Lord said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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