America’s current export control system is a major hindrance, and many a times frustrating, when it comes to increasing Defence trade with India, a top Pentagon official has said.
The official, who has been entrusted by the US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, the task of working with Indian counterparts on removing these bureaucratic hurdles, said there are a number of things that the US needs to change in its export control regulations.
Responding to questions at the Politico Pro Defence Forum held, the Deputy Secretary of Defence, Ashton B. Carter said there is a real “mismatch” between the intention of the Obama Administration to improve its Defence and strategic ties with India and America’s current export control regulations.
“You know, (the former Defence) Secretary (Robert) Gates used to say this, (the Defence) Secretary (Leon) Panetta does, Secretary of State (Hillary) Clinton, it’s of tremendous frustration with how arcane the export control system is.
“Those problems are particularly acute when it comes to India because India and we were separate industrially and technologically for a long time, all during the Cold War,” Carter said.
“When you’re trying to match up how they do things and how we do things, there’s no history there.
We have to create that history.
So when Secretary Panetta went there and talked to the Indian leadership about a fact, which is true, which is that we believe that we are destined to have in India an enduring security partner, just because of who they are and the natural affinity we have with India, and then when he turned to the question of, “OK, what do we do next, how can do — make that vision real?” he became familiar with all of this mismatch,” Carter said.
It is during his India trip this year, Panetta entrusted Carter with the task of working to removing these bureaucratic hurdles to increase Defence trade between India and the US.
“So I went out a few weeks later, and there are a number of different aspects to it, some of the things that we need to change, many things I think that we need to change, and others are ones that India needs to change,” he said referring to his recent India visit.
“But I think our objective, the joint objective we have with the Indians is to make sure that only our strategic differences — and we’ll always have them, two great countries will — and not our bureaucratic impediments stand in the way of having this relationship be all it can be.
“That’s the kind of central idea. And down in the engine room make that happen, I’m determined to do that,” Carter said.