With U.S. President Barack Obama in New Delhi for a state visit, Bloomberg and other news outlets are reporting that the United States will relax restrictions on space-related business with India.
“U.S. President Barack Obama will announce a relaxation in export controls for India today to reduce barriers to commerce and align the countries’ trade regimes to reflect their strategic alliance, an administration official said.
“As part of the agreement, the Obama administration will support India’s full membership in multilateral nuclear non-proliferation regimes and remove India’s defense and space organizations from the U.S. ‘entities list,’ which restricts them from doing business with the U.S.”
Space-related ties between the United States and India have been slow to develop over the years in spite of initiatives such as the Next Steps in Strategic Partnership framework accord signed in 2004 to foster Indo-U.S. cooperation in nuclear energy, civil space and high-technology trade. But there have been notable milestones such as the inclusion of U.S. scientific payloads aboard India’s Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter.
India and the United States also have been negotiating an accord that would loosen restrictions on launching U.S. civil space payloads aboard Indian rockets.