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Sens. Cruz, Young, Marshall Introduce Bill to Prevent Sanctions from Undermining Quad Unity Against China

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Todd Young (R-Ind.), and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) this week introduced the “Circumspectly Reducing Unintended Consequences Impairing Alliances and Leadership Act of 2021” (CRUCIAL Act), which creates a 10-year exemption for member countries of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue—Australia, Japan, and India—from U.S. sanctions passed in 2017 that would undermine unity against China.

The CRUCIAL Act would prohibit the President from imposing sanctions in the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) against our closest regional allies in the Indo-Pacific.

Upon introduction, Sen. Cruz said:

“India is a critical part of the security architecture that coalesced during the Trump administration against China. Countering China’s aggressive behavior requires viable partners in Asia and beyond, and the U.S.-Indian relationship has become a cornerstone of our multilateral efforts. As China has sought to expand its global dominance, India has resisted their exploitation and looked elsewhere to bolster its defense capabilities and economy. Now would be exactly the wrong time for President Biden to undo all of that progress through the imposition of these sanctions, which were meant to deter Russia. Doing so would accomplish nothing except undermining our shared security goals of combatting China’s aggression and forcing India to become dependent on Russia.”

Sen. Young said:

“When then-President Trump signed the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) into law in 2017, no one would have predicted today’s successful strategic partnership between the United States and Australia, Japan, and India. If the Biden Administration were to impose sanctions on India as its attempts to deter Chinese aggression, we would undermine the good work that has been done. Now is the time to strengthen the Quad instead of pushing our partners away.” 

Sen. Marshall added:

“The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue is one of the United States’ most important alliances. President Biden should prioritize formalizing the U.S. relationship with the Quad by increasing security cooperation, trade and investment, and vaccine diplomacy throughout the Indo-Pacific. The CRUCIAL Act provides an incredibly important sanctions exemption for our partners who are standing with the U.S. against China’s economic coercion and military aggression. As China continues to threaten its neighbors and attempt to overturn the rules-based international order our relationships with key Democracies such as India, Japan, and Australia will only become more important – serving as a multiplier in our efforts to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

BACKGROUND

The Biden administration will soon decide whether to impose U.S. sanctions on India over their purchase of a Russian-made surface-to-air missile system, the S-400, in 2018. the CRUCIAL Act exempts the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue countries—Australia, Japan, and India—from these sanctions as long as they remain good faith partners in the forum.

Read the full text of the bill here.

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