House Republicans Push To Ban China From Buying US Farmland

House Republicans are pushing legislation that would make it illegal for anyone or any business linked with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to buy agricultural land in the United States. Reps. Dan Newhouse (R., Wash.) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R., Wash.) introduced the Prohibition of Agricultural Land for the People’s Republic of China Act this week, and it has more than 40 cosponsors.

Nonresident aliens, foreign enterprises, and any agent, trustee, or fiduciary linked with the Government of the People’s Republic of China would be barred from purchasing public or private agricultural real estate in the United States and its territories under this law. These organizations would also be forbidden from participating in Department of Agriculture initiatives.

According to Fox Business, CCP-connected individuals and companies now possess more than 383,000 acres of farmland in the United States, worth billions of dollars. Newhouse has warned that China’s investments in other countries’ food supplies have allowed Beijing to impose control over other countries, and he is concerned that China is likely to pursue a similar strategy in the US.

“Imagine if the Chinese Communist Party had just one of the links of our food supply chain under their control, how quickly they could literally starve us,” Newhouse said in a statement. “In other countries they make investments, build infrastructure, control sources of agricultural products. … We don’t want to see that happen in the United States of America.”

This proposal comes after the House passed a resolution denouncing China’s deployment of a spy balloon over the United States, calling it a “brazen violation of US sovereignty.” In reaction to this instance of Chinese meddling, lawmakers in states such as Montana and North Dakota are exploring legislation to prohibit foreign entities from purchasing land. Sens. Mike Rounds (R., S.D.) and Jon Tester (D., Mont.) have introduced a similar bill that would prohibit China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran from owning property in the United States.

While China controls only a small portion of all farmland in the United States, Republicans warn that Beijing can still wreak havoc by dominating vital sectors of the country’s food supply chain. Smithfield Foods, situated in Virginia, employs tens of thousands of Americans and is completely owned by a Chinese firm that is China’s largest meat producer.

China’s purchase of farms in the United States has also alarmed military authorities. The Chinese corporation Fufeng Group purchased 370 acres of land 12 miles from an Air Force facility in eastern North Dakota, posing a “serious threat to national security,” according to the Air Force. In response, the Grand Forks City Council unanimously agreed to prevent the Chinese company from establishing a corn mill on the property.




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