Trump to sign USD 700 billion Defence Bill funding Sri Lanka, India

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – The United Sates (US) President Donald Trump is set to sign a more than USD 700 billion Defence Bill for the fiscal year 2019 on Monday (13), to counter the White House’s calls for greater competition, specifically with China and Russia, the CGTN reported.

A week after approval from the House of Representatives, the US Senate passed the USD 716 billion National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) on 02 August, backing President Trump’s call for a bigger and stronger military.

The Defence Act is aimed to provide more money to forge closer defence relationships with other nations like Sri Lanka and India. This year saw the first visit of a US aircraft carrier to Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War.

Timothy Heath, Senior International Defence Researcher from Rand Corporation said the US is increasing its already overwhelming naval and air superiority all over the Indo – Pacific region.

“It’s not simply authorizing more planes and ships to be built, which it does, but it also directs reporting requirements on issues on influence operations and espionage,” he said.

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