Rep. Newhouse Takes Aim at Farmland Purchases by Foreign Entities
Congressional proposals to block or limit foreign purchases of U-S farmland are getting bipartisan support.
4th District Representative Dan Newhouse’s amendment, which was introduced to the House Committee on Appropriations’ Rural Development bill and adopted by a vote of 34 to 26, requires the Secretary of Agriculture to take necessary actions to prohibit the purchase of agricultural land on American soil by associations of China, Russia, North Korea, or Iran.
Newhouse told the committee that the Chinese Community Party owns more than 380,000 acres of U-S farmland.
"But even more shocking than that is the trend: the CCP has increased their purchases by a factor of 10 over the last decade. This poses an immediate threat to U.S. national security and food security." Rep. Newhouse said.
Newhouse added that farmers and landowners in the 4th district have expressed deep concern about encroachment of their land from foreign adversaries.
"They agree; we can no longer ignore the writing on the wall, and we must act to stop this threat now before it becomes too late." Rep. Newhouse said.
In the U-S Senate, Republican Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa and Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan are pushing for an amendment to the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act of 1978.
The amendment strives to create a system that would collect information about foreign ownership of agricultural land.
According to the Agriculture Department, foreign ownership of U-S land exceeds 40 million acres, nearly doubling the amount from 10 years ago.
Both Republicans and Democrats have issued warnings that purchases of U-S farmland by foreign adversaries and/or foreign entities pose risks to food security, military installations and other critical infrastructure.
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