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STA-1 Status: India becomes 3rd Asian Country to gain high-tech product sales authorization

On Left-Narendra Modi, On Right-Donald Trump

Guwahati: In a major snub to China, India has become the 3rd Asian country to receive the Strategic Trade Authorization (STA-1) status from the United States after Japan and South Korea. The coveted status now authorizes high-technology product sales to India, especially in the defense and civil sectors.

India is the 37th country in the world to get the STA-1 status.

The status grant is also mention-worthy as the Donald Trump administration made an exception for the inclusion of India into the STA-1 club. The United States government has conventionally granted the strategic trade status to only those countries which are members of the four export control regimes, namely, Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), Wassenaar Arrangement (WA), Australia Group (AG) and the NSG.

India is a member of three, except the NSG. The exclusion of India from the NSG is primarily due to the opposition from her Asian counterpart China.

The exception crafted by the US administration for including India in the STA-1 group is being perceived as a strong message to China about Indo-US relationships.

“This action befits India’s status as a Major Defence Partner and recognizes” the country’s membership in three of the four export control regimes — the MTCR, WA and AG, the federal notification said.

The US notification consolidates the commitment between the two nations to work towards global non-proliferation and co-operate in civil, defense and other technology-based sectors.

India was earlier included to three of the four multilateral export control regimes, the MTCR on June 27, 2016, the Wassenaar Arrangement on December 7, 2017. The country joined the Australia Group this year on January 19.

Prior to her inclusion in the STA-1 group, India had remained in the STA-2 category with countries like Albania, HonkKong, Malta, Israel, Taiwan, and Singapore.