One of the key success stories of the bilateral relationship, according to US President Joe Biden’s nominee for next envoy to New Delhi, is the rising defence trade between India and the US. Eric Michael Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles, is a close friend of Biden’s. Garcetti declared during his confirmation hearing for US Ambassador to India that he fully supports the rule of law, the implementation of CAATSA, and the waiver system that comes with it.
He was responding to a question regarding the CAATSA sanctions being imposed on India now that the Russian S-400 missile system is on its way to New Delhi. I’m not going to guess what the Secretary’s conclusion on penalties or waivers will be. I’d also like to alert the Chairman, Ranking Member, and other members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.” I am a firm believer in the rule of law. “I fully support the rule of law, including the application of CAATSA as law here, and the waiver clause is a part of that,” Garcetti said.
If accepted, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he would push for India’s weapons system to be more diverse in order to confront US military capabilities. “If such diversification does not occur, we must defend our data and systems,” he added, promising to strengthen the India-US Major Defense Partnership. “I believe it is one of the great success stories of the last few decades, with procurement, information sharing, interoperability, exercises, and maritime activities going from $0 to USD 20 billion,” he said. India is the sole designated Major Defense Partner of the United States. The US and India have made significant progress as Major defence Partner organisations, with four major defensive line allowing contracts signed since 2016, and the US looks forward to expanding information sharing, bilateral and regional exercises, maritime security cooperation, liaison officer exchanges, and logistical cooperation.
In response to questions from lawmakers regarding human rights in India, Garcetti said he will personally visit with important stakeholders in India to discuss the issue.
“NGOs that are actively working for the human rights of people on the ground in India will receive direct engagement from me.”
“We recognize that democracies are complex, and we can compare ours to India’s,” Garcetti added, “but it is a cornerstone of our common values.”