Several Republicans Introduce Legislation to Prevent Communist Party of China From Buying US Farmland
Earlier this month, Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Congressman Dan Newhouse introduced legislation that would ban nonresident aliens, companies and other entities connected to the Chinese government from buying up agricultural land in the United States.
The Prohibition of Agricultural Land for the People’s Republic of China Act would also prohibit those entities’ participation in US Agriculture Department (USDA) programs that go beyond the scope of food safety inspections, per McMorris Rodgers’ press release. According to USDA reports, Chinese foreign investors possessed over 191,000 acres of US agricultural and non-agricultural land in 2019.
Per a Wall Street Journal report, Grand Forks, North Dakota, Mayor Brandon Bochenski announced on January 31, 2023 a plan to prevent China’s Fufeng Group from building a corn mill on 370 acres purchased in the city, which is relatively close to Grand Forks Air Force Base. Initially, Bochenski and other local leaders praised the project when the Fufeng Group’s decision to set up shop in Grand Forks was announced in 2021, but Air Force Assistant Secretary Andrew Hunter said on January 27 that the Defense Department believed it constituted “a significant threat to national security.”
Newhouse’s press secretary Mike Marinella said to the Daily Caller the Grand Forks corn mill project news did not influence his introduction of the legislator, declaring, “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,” Rodgers stated. “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.”
Instead of towing the neocon line and trying to get into a thermonuclear conflict with China, the US needs to start decoupling from trade with it and restricting immigration from it. This is the best way of dealing with China and maintaining America First principles.