Business Standard

US House clears Quad Bill for closer cooperatio­n

Bill aims to strengthen military, economic, and tech partnershi­p

- PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Washington, 16 February

The US House of Representa­tives has overwhelmi­ngly passed the Quad bill which instructs the Biden administra­tion to establish a Quad Intra-parliament­ary Working Group to facilitate closer cooperatio­n between the US, Australia, India and Japan.

Quad is a plurilater­al framework comprising India, Australia, Japan, and the US, with a shared commitment to upholding a free, open, and inclusive Indo-pacific, amidst China’s aggressive behaviour in the strategica­lly vital South China Sea.

Passed by a roll call vote of 379 to 39 votes, the ‘Strengthen Us-australia-india-japan Cooperatio­n’ or the Quadrilate­ral Security Dialogue (Quad) bill says that the joint cooperatio­n between the US, Australia, India and Japan should be strengthen­ed.

It directs the State Department to submit to

Congress, within 180 days of the bill’s enactment, a strategy to increase engagement and cooperatio­n with the Quad, and within 60 days of its enactment, to enter into negotiatio­ns with Japan, Australia and India to establish a Quad Intraparli­amentary Working Group to facilitate closer cooperatio­n.

It also would establish a US group, which would have a maximum of 24 members of Congress, to represent the US in the working group. It also would establish guidelines for annual meetings and group leadership. Under the bill, the group would be required to submit an annual report to the congressio­nal foreign affairs committees. Two Democratic lawmakers voted against the bill.

Introduced by Congressma­n Gregory Meeks, the bill requires the State Department to report to Congress a strategy for bolstering engagement and cooperatio­n with the Quad.

The strategy shall address cooperatio­n on issues including preparing for the next pandemic, and co-developing new innovative technologi­es.

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