Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture showing that Chinese ownership of U.S. farmland increased from $81 million in 2010 to $1.8 billion in 2020 prompted legislation to be introduced Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
Fox News reports that a group of senators led by Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) introduced the “Protecting America’s Agricultural Land from Foreign Harm Act of 2023” that would prevent people associated with the governments of America’s foreign adversaries from buying U.S. agricultural land.
By “foreign adversary,” the bill says it’s referring to China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.
Senator Jon Tester, a Democrat from Montana, and Republican senators Marco Rubio from Florida and Tommy Tuberville from Alabama joined Braun in this bipartisan effort. The bill would specifically prohibit anyone “owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of a foreign adversary” from leasing or purchasing both public and private agricultural land on U.S. soil.
The bill would also prevent people associated with those governments who currently own or lease farmland in the U.S. from participating in USDA programs.
Braun says, “Chinese ownership of American farmland increased more than 20-fold in the past decade. We cannot allow our top foreign adversaries to buy up American farmland and compromise our agricultural supply chains. I’m proud to lead this bipartisan effort with Senator Tester to protect American farms and bolster food security.”
Tester adds, “As a third-generation Montana farmer, I am not going to let our foreign adversaries use American farmland to threaten our position as the world’s leading military and economic power. That’s why I’m leading this bipartisan effort to defend our food security and national security.”
Source: Fox News, Sen. Braun’s Press Office