Published on: July 21, 2022



Why in news?

The legislative amendment was introduced by Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna. The U.S. House of Representative passed a legislative amendment that approves an India-specific waiver for punitive CAATSA sanctions.


  • The amendment urges the Biden administration to use their authority to provide India with a Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAASTA) waiver to help deter aggressors like China.
  • This amendment is of the utmost importance.
  • The legislation says 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 two countries 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.

Why CAATSA was not Imposed on India?

  • It was never explicitly stated by the US that CAATSA would apply to India. According to a report from March 2022, the US valued India as a vital ally in the region and India is currently a highly significant security partner of America.
  • India has always maintained an autonomous foreign policy. This also holds true for the defence supplies and purchases it makes, which are determined by the interests in national security.
  • India has maintained its neutrality and refused to join any of the sanctions on Russia put in place by Western nations, despite the ongoing turmoil in Ukraine and the US tightening its position against Russia.
  • India has previously made many references to the necessity for S-400 missiles for border defence against China.

What is CAATSA?

  • CAATSA is a US law, its full form being “Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act”. Under this federal law, the American government can impose sanctions on any country that has “significant transactions with Iran, North Korea or Russia”. The law entail economic & financial penalties for any nation that transacts with Russia on arms. The law has been in force since August 2017.

How strict is this law?

  • CAATSA is a significantly stringent law. In the context of the Ukraine war, it can authorise the imposition of strict sanctions on countries that buy defence hardware from Russia.

How did Russia come into its ambit?

  • Russia came into the laws ambit in the aftermath of its annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential elections.

What other major countries have so far faced CAATSA sanctions?

  • It is under CAATSA sanctions for its purchase of a batch of S-400 missile defence systems from Russia.