US streamlines high-tech export controls on India

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WASHINGTON, Oct 2 (Reuters) US exporters of high-tech goods with potential military uses will no longer need an individual license to sell to certain trusted Indian buyers, the US Commerce Department said on Tuesday.

The new ''validated end-user'' program recognizes the progress India has made over the past six years in developing an effective export control system, and opens the door for million of dollars of increased U.S. sales in sectors such as electronics, avionics, aerospace and life science, U.S.

Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said in a statement.

''This common-sense approach will make it easier for U.S.

companies to sell American products to pre-screened customers in India, while maintaining vigilance over U.S. technologies'' that could be used to build weapons of mass destruction or in other military applications, Gutierrez said.

The percentage of U.S. exports to India requiring an export control license already has fallen to less than one percent, from 24 percent in 1999, because of increased cooperation between the two countries, the Commerce Department said.

The new program builds on that progress by allowing license-free exports to authorized companies in India with a record of responsibly using sensitive U.S. technology, the Commerce Department said.

Reuters SBA VP0318

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