US House passes amendment authored by Ro Khanna for Caatsa waiver to India

Washington, July 15 (Representative) In good news for India, the US House of Representative passed a legislative amendment that approves an India-specific waiver against punitive CAATSA sanctions for its purchase of S-400 missile systems from Russia. Authored and introduced by Indian American Congressman Ro Khanna, an overwhelming majority voted 330 to 99 in favour of the amendment. The legislative amendment was passed on Thursday as part of an en bloc amendment during floor consideration of the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA).and provides India with waiver against the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) .Ro Khanna’s office in a statement said: “Today, the House passed a historic amendment authored by Rep Ro Khanna (D-CA), Congressional India Caucus Vice Chair and Member of the House Armed Services Committee, to strengthen the U.S.-India defense partnership.”

“The Khanna amendment will affirm the United States’ partnership with India and urge the Biden administration to use their authority to provide India with a CAASTA waiver to help deter aggressors like China.” “The United States must stand with India in the face of escalating aggression from China. As Vice Chair of the India Caucus, I have been working to strengthen the partnership between our countries and ensure that India can defend itself along the Indian Chinese border,” said Rep. Khanna. “This amendment is of the utmost importance, and I am proud to see it pass the House on a bipartisan basis.”“It is the sense of Congress that a strong United States-India defense partnership, rooted in shared democratic values, is critical in order to advance United States interests in the Indo-Pacific region; and this partnership between the world’s oldest and largest democracies is critical and must continue to be strengthened in response to increasing threats in the Indo-Pacific regions, sending an unequivocal signal that sovereignty and international law must be respected,” the amendment read.

“The Congress finds that the United States-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) is a welcome and essential step to developing closer partnerships between governments, academia, and industry in the United States and India to address the latest advances in artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology, aerospace, and semiconductor manufacturing. Such collaborations between engineers and computer scientists are vital to help ensure that the United States and India, as well as other democracies around the world, foster innovation and facilitate technological advances which continue to far outpace Russian and Chinese technology.”

On border threats from China and reliance on Russian-built weapons, it said “Congress recognizes thatIndia faces immediate and serious regional border threats from China, with continued military aggression by the Government of China along the India-China border, India relies on Russian-built weapons for its national defense, and the United States should take additional steps to encourage India to accelerate India’s transition off Russian-built weapons and defense systems while strongly supporting India’s immediate defense needs.” On waiver of Caatsa sanctions, it said “While India faces immediate needs to maintain its heavily Russian-built weapons systems, a waiver to sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act during this transition period is in the best interests of the United States and the United States-India defense partnership to deter aggressors in light of Russia and China’s close partnership.”