Newhouse introduces bill to stop China from buying US farmland

WASHINGTON DC – Today Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) released the following statement before introducing the Farmland Prohibition Act for the People’s Republic of China. This legislation would prohibit the purchase of public or private agricultural land in the United States by foreign nationals associated with the government of the People’s Republic of China. In addition, the legislation would prohibit the same associations from participating in any United States Department of Agriculture program except food safety inspections.

“We are from the largest country in the world, and there is simply no reason for us to be dependent on a communist country like China for our food supply. food supply to an opposing foreign nation, we may be forced to export food grown within our own borders for our own use. Conversely, by strengthening American agriculture, we can create jobs, strengthen our economy and improve our national supply chain in the future,” Rep. Newhouse said. “Put simply, we should take every step possible to bolster our domestic production while preventing our adversaries from gaining a foothold in our supply chain, and I’m proud to lead that charge in Congress.”

China’s US farmland has increased more than tenfold over the past decade, and at the start of 2020, Chinese investments held $2 billion of US farmland.

Click on here to read the full text of the bill.

Background:

  • In September 2013, the President of the People’s Republic of China and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping, announced China’s “grand politico-economic project”, now known as the Belt and the Road (BIS) or Debt Trap Diplomacy. . Over the past decade, President Xi has invested and continues to invest billions in the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas.
  • A 2018 USDA report Economic Studies Service found that Chinese investment in the agricultural sector has increased tenfold over the past decade.
    • A 1978 federal law, known as the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act, requires foreign entities to report farmland transactions to the USDA Farm Service Agency. The data covers the years 1900 to 2016.
  • Already, six states have laws prohibiting foreign ownership of farmland. These states are Hawaii, Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Dakota and the state of Oklahoma, but restrictions on Chinese land ownership can be circumvented by Chinese investors buying large US corporations that own agricultural land.
  • Last year, Rep. Newhouse introduced an amendment to the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill to prohibit the purchase of agricultural land by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and return the land currently held by the People’s Republic of China not eligible for agricultural programs. This amendment was passed aloud.
  • Farmland Prohibition Act for the People’s Republic of China would direct the President of the United States to take all necessary action to prohibit public or private agricultural land in the United States by foreign nationals associated with the government of the People’s Republic of China. In addition, the legislation would prohibit the same associations from participating in any United States Department of Agriculture program except food safety inspections.

###

Comments are closed.