Rep. Jackson, Sen. Cruz Introduce Legislation to Combat China’s Malign Influence

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WASHINGTON — Thursday, Representative Ronny Jackson (TX-13) introduced the Circumspectly Reducing Unintended Consequences Impairing Alliances and Leadership (CRUCIAL) Act of 2021, which creates a 10-year exemption for member countries of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue—Australia, Japan, and India—from Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) sanctions that would undermine unity against the Chinese Communist Party. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is leading this initiative and introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate along with Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Roger Marshall (R-KS).

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or “the Quad,” is the combined efforts of Australia, Japan, India, and the United States to promote democratic values in the Indo-Pacific, protect freedom of navigation, and counter China’s aggressive military build-up. President Trump revitalized the Quad and ensured American allies knew that the United States was a partner worth trusting. Representative Jackson and Senator Cruz’s legislation will continue President Trump’s work by providing the authority for the Quad to stand jointly against Chinese aggression.

India is currently in the process of purchasing the Russian S-400 air-defense system. This purchase could trigger sanctions which would jeopardize the growing relationship and security cooperation among the Quad. CAATSA sanctions were intended to hold adversaries like Russia accountable; however, if imposed on India, they could have the opposite effect and empower our adversaries.

Jackson said: “The Quad includes strategic allies in the Indo-Pacific region that are key to America’s success in confronting threats from the Chinese Communist Party. As China’s power and malign influence in the region continues to grow, the Quad will be the foundation for any response against China. At a time when our allies don’t trust us after the failed Afghanistan withdrawal, the CRUCIAL Act will signal to our most vital Indo-Pacific partners that we are prepared for the long-haul and that we will stand with them in the face of Chinese aggression.”

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.”

Jackson serves on the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees.

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