Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Khanna: Biden has political clout and will hasten the CAASTA sanction relief

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The most important vote since the civilian nuclear deal was the US House of Representatives recent decision to waive certain CAATSA sanctions on India.


Asserting that US President Joe Biden will expedite the waiver because he has the political capital and the support of 300 members of Congress, an influential Indian-American Democratic Congressman referred to the recent India-specific CAATSA sanctions waiver by the US House of Representatives as the most important vote since the civilian nuclear deal.


The US House of Representatives approved an amendment to a law in July that grants India a particular exemption from harsh CAATSA sanctions in exchange for its acquisition of the S-400 missile defence system from Russia.


The amendment, which was written and sponsored by Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna, calls on the Biden administration to exercise its power to grant India a CAATSA waiver to help deter aggressors like China.


The relationship between the US and India has never been more important. I think the interaction between an expansionist China and an expansionist Russia will define the 21st century. In addition, we have to make it crystal clear to India that we value our relationship with them highly, Khanna told the news agency.


The legislation was approved by voice vote last month as a part of an en bloc (all at once) amendment during floor discussion of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Before being delivered to President Biden to be signed into law, the legislation must still be approved by the US Senate.


The looming possibility of sanctions against India hinders our efforts to forge a solid strategic alliance. The 45-year-old Democrat claimed that it makes it more difficult to improve the QUAD with Australia and Japan.


Khanna, a prominent member of the group to Taiwan recently led by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said that the Biden administration supported his legislative proposal that was approved by the House.


If the White House had not shown support, it would never have cleared the House. Without Greg Meeks, the head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the amendment would never have been deemed in order, put to a vote, or passed. He said that we had spoken to the State Department’s National Security staff, and they had expressed appreciation.


To strengthen defence relations, Khanna has also suggested that India join NATO Plus as the sixth country.
You now have NATO plus five. Like NATO, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, Israel, and Japan essentially receive accelerated weapons. And I’m attempting to include India in it. I had already proposed it, and this amendment gives it more impetus.

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