By Gautham Nagesh - 01/24/11 09:11 PM EST
The Commerce Department began a series of change to its export rules on Monday that should pave the way for Indian firms to purchase more defense and nuclear technology from American firms.
Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security detailed a series of changes to the Export Administration Regulations that essentially recognize India's adherence to the global non-proliferation regime. As a result Indian space and defense firms will no longer be subject to additional licensing requirements.
“Today’s action marks a significant milestone in reinforcing the U.S.-India strategic partnership and moving forward with export control reforms that will facilitate high technology trade and cooperation,” said Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.
President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh first announced the initiative during the president's trip to India last November. By adding India to a group of countries that are members of the Military Technology Control Regime the U.S. is elevating India's status and cementing the increasingly close ties between the two nations.
Next month Lock will lead a hi-tech trade mission to India with representatives of 24 U.S. firms in an attempt to tap India's burgeoning domestic market. The Obama administration has renewed its efforts in recent months to promote trade in India and China with a goal of doubling exports by 2015.