US removes Indian firms from Entity List

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New Delhi, Jan.26 (ANI): The U.S. Government on Monday amended its U.S. Export Administration Regulations by removing all remaining Space and Defense-related Indian entities from the U.S. Department of Commerce's 'Entity List'. This is a momentous step forward in U.S. implementation of the export control policy reforms announced by President Barack Obama during his November 2010 visit to India.

After the announcement, U.S. Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer said: "This realignment marks a milestone in the U.S.-India strategic partnership. It will strengthen global non-proliferation efforts, opening new doors for space and defense cooperation and high technology trade between our two countries - a visible symbol of our robust strategic partnership."

Indian organizations formerly on the Entity List now have access to the most sophisticated technologies, opening the way for increased trade, commerce, and jobs in both countries. Indian government organizations and American private businesses can now enter into transactions involving sensitive dual-use equipment, technology, and software in an expedited fashion without compromising national security.

In a January 24 Federal Notice, the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced the removal of the following nine Indian space and defense-related organizations from the Entity List:

Armament Research and Development Establishment (DRDO)

Defense Research and Development Lab (DRDO)

Hyderabad Missile Research and Development Complex (DRDO)

Solid State Physics Laboratory (DRDO)

Liquid Propulsion Systems Center (ISRO)

Solid Propellant Space Booster Plant (SPROB) (ISRO)

Sriharikota Space Center (ISRO)

Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (ISRO)

Bharat Dynamics Limited

The removal of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) sets the stage for a new era in U.S.-India civil space and defense cooperation to create an ambitious 21st century partnership in the civil space, defense, and high technology sectors.

The Federal Notice further served to remove India from its previous inclusion in several country groups of the Export Administration Act. In removing India from these lists, the U.S. government has elevated India out of the categories within the dual use regulations that formerly connoted India as a "country of concern." This action by the U.S. government is a clear statement of the close cooperative relationship that continues to grow between the U.S. and India and acknowledges India's record of responsible stewardship of sensitive technologies.

The United States has also added India to a preferential Country Group (A:2) under the U.S. Export Administration Act. This country group, which for the first time now includes India, consists of members of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). The addition of India to this group recognizes India's excellent global nonproliferation record and India's adherence to the MTCR.

Ambassador Roemer noted that "today's action is a follow up to President Obama's historic visit to India where he pledged U.S. support to India becoming a permanent member of a reformed UN Security Council and committed to reforming our export controls policies to ensure that Indian companies seeking high-tech trade and technologies from America are treated the same as our very closest allies and partners. This action underscores that commitment and follows through on President Obama's pledge." (ANI)

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