Business & Defence

Explained: What Is India’s CAATSA Waiver Under The United States

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

In response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential elections, the US administration is empowered to impose sanctions on nations that buy significant defence equipment from Russia under the tough Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

Recently, a significant US Senate committee worked to strengthen and advance the defence relationship with India by working together more closely on intelligence gathering, drones, and fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft.

In response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential elections, the US passed the tough Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which gives the administration the authority to impose sanctions on nations that buy significant defence equipment from Russia.

Through increased collaboration in intelligence gathering, drones, and fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft, a major committee of the US Senate recently sought to strengthen and advance the defence engagement with India.

The NDAA for FY 2023 was made public on Wednesday by the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Defense partnership with India

‘Enhancing the Major Defense Partnership with India’ is one of its sections, and it calls for increased collaboration on information gathering, drones, and fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft.

Along with 5G and Open Radio Access Networks (RAN), depot-level maintenance, collaborative research and development, cyber, and cold-weather capabilities are also included.

The Section also requests that the defence secretary investigate additional opportunities for enhancing cooperation with India, including a description of the difficulties, agreements, and potential requisite powers, as well as an articulation of security considerations, such as the protection of intellectual property and research and development.

It also requests that the defence secretary find ways for the private sector to collaborate with the Indian Ministry of Defense.

CAATSA waiver for S-400 deal

Last week, the US House of Representatives approved an amendment to a law 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 in order to help deter aggressors like China.

During floor discussion of the NDAA, the legislative amendment was approved by voice vote as a component of an en bloc (all at once) amendment.

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