GOP Reps Push Bill To Ban China From Buying US Farmland
Trevor Schakohl on February 3, 2023
Two Republican members of Congress introduced a bill Wednesday that would prohibit nonresident aliens, companies and other entities associated with the Chinese government from buying agricultural land in the U.S.
Washington Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dan Newhouse’s Prohibition of Agricultural Land for the People’s Republic of China Act would also ban those interests’ participation in U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) programs beyond food safety inspections, according to her press release. Chinese foreign investors held more than 191,000 acres of U.S. agricultural and non-agricultural land in 2019, the USDA indicated.
Grand Forks, North Dakota, Mayor Brandon Bochenski announced an effort Tuesday to stop China’s Fufeng Group from building a corn mill on 370 acres purchased in his city not far from Grand Forks Air Force Base, according to The Wall Street Journal. Bochenski and other local leaders had celebrated the project when the Fufeng Group’s decision to build in Grand Forks was publicized in 2021, but Air Force Assistant Secretary Andrew Hunter said Jan. 27 the Defense Department believed it presented “a significant threat to national security,” the WSJ reported.
Newhouse’s press secretary Mike Marinella told the DCNF the Grand Forks corn mill project news did not influence his introduction of the bill, saying, “This is yet another example of a potential threat from the Chinese Communist Party and Rep. Newhouse will continue to be a leader in protecting American farmland from our nation’s adversaries.”
“Agriculture is Eastern Washington’s number one industry. We simply cannot allow companies from China to lock down our resources and undermine our farmers and ranchers’ ability to feed the world,” Rogers said. “Americans should not be forced to rely on China for the food they put on the table. Prohibiting the Chinese Communist Party from purchasing farmland in the United States is a no-brainer that will support domestic food production and decrease our dangerous dependence on foreign adversaries.”
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