WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Representative Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, today announced that they have introduced legislation to enhance ties between the United States and India by elevating the status of the bilateral relationship. The Special Global Partnership with India Act of 2016 (H.R.5387) would designate India as a Special Global Partner of the United States and take other steps to ramp up engagement and deepen collaboration between the United States and India, particularly on defense issues.

“I just had the honor to watch Prime Minister Modi address a Joint Meeting of Congress, and it is clear that the United States and India are successfully steering our relationship from contention to cooperation.  From defense to scientific research, from climate change to economic innovation, we are working more closely with the people and government of India than ever before.  Now we need to make those ties even stronger,” said Rep. Engel. “This bill would give our relationship the status it deserves by naming India a Special Global Partner and ensuring that our close collaboration continues for years to come.”

"The U.S.-India relationship—rooted in shared democratic values and strong people-to-people ties—is one of the world’s most rapidly growing partnerships, and ‎I believe that a strong U.S.-India relationship should and will serve as a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy in decades ahead," said Rep. Crowley. "By naming India a Special Global Partner, we can further solidify our critical, strategic partnership and continue our shared efforts in opening in the next chapter of U.S.-India relations."

The Special Global Partnership with India Act of 2016 calls for Congress to elevate the U.S.-India relationship by designating India as a Special Global Partner of the United States, leading to greater cooperation across sectors ranging from defense and space to entrepreneurship and innovation. H.R. 5387 would also amend the Arms Export Control Act, allowing the President to include India among our closest allies.  This bill would also authorize the President to give India an exception to allow for strategic trade authority, and codify assistance in all areas that would support key priorities, such as education, growth in the digital sector, and environmental protection.

Representatives Engel and Crowley are also members of the Congressional India Caucus.