Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

Trump inks $717bn defence policy bill

Trump Signs $717 Bln Defense Bill Trump signs NDAA for FY 2019, authorizing $250 mln assistance to Ukraine
Deanna Wagner | 16 August, 2018, 11:26

With the NDAA signed into law, Congress now turns its attention to passing a defence spending bill to make the dollar amounts authorized by the NDAA a reality.

The signing ceremony was held at the military base at Fort Drum (New York) on Monday.

However, Trump touted the $716 billion bill as "the most significant investment in our military in our warfighters in modern history".

However, the Trump administration opposed putting stronger measures against the Chinese companies in the defense bill, which ultimately included watered-down controls on USA government contracts with China's ZTE Corp and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.

A raft of Russian Federation measures in the NDAA clears the way for the military to pursue a new low-yield nuclear warhead, hikes authorized funding for the USA military presence in eastern Europe, and provides new waivers the Pentagon says could wean allies from dependence on Moscow.

"It does nothing to identify real security risks or improve supply chain security, and will only serve to stifle innovation while increasing internet costs for U.S. consumers and businesses", Huawei said.

The bill includes a measure that strengthens the role of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) tasked with assessing whether proposed foreign investments pose a threat to national security.

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Measures against China in the new act include issuing public reports on China's activities in the South China Sea, and banning China from future Rim of the Pacific Exercises, a biennial naval event led by the USA in Hawaii.

Turkey has placed orders for 30 US-made F-35A fighter jets, and intends to order 70 more as part of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) project, which involves 10 countries and produces various versions of the plane.

Prior to the ceremony Trump watched an air assault demonstration by United States troops at Fort Drum.

China's foreign ministry said on Tuesday that it was strongly dissatisfied with a new U.S. defense bill signed by President Donald Trump this week.

Chinese and United States companies seek greater cooperation on investment, it added, urging the two countries' governments to heed the voices of their companies, and provide a good environment and stable expectations.

The spokesperson urged the United States not to implement the Taiwan-related clauses so as to avoid damaging China-U.S. relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.