China banned from buying U.S. farmland under Newhouse-sponsored legislation

Foreign nationals associated with the government of the People’s Republic of China would be prohibited from buying American farmland under legislation introduced last week by U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA).

According to information provided by the congressman’s staff, China’s American agricultural land holdings have increased over tenfold in the last decade, and at the beginning of 2020, investments from China held $2 billion of American agricultural land.

“We hail from the greatest country in the world, and there is simply no reason we should be reliant on a communist country like China for our food supply,” Rep. Newhouse said on May 26. “If we begin to cede the responsibility over our food supply chain to an adversarial foreign nation, we could be forced into exporting food that is grown within our own borders and meant for our own use.” 

Specifically, the Prohibition of Agricultural Land for the People’s Republic of China Act, H.R. 7892, would authorize the president to take actions to prohibit the purchase of public or private agricultural (including ranching) real estate located in the United States by nonresident aliens, foreign businesses, an agent, trustee, or fiduciary associated with the government of the People’s Republic of China. 

Additionally, according to the text of the bill, H.R. 7892 would prohibit the same associations from participating in any U.S. Department of Agriculture programs except food safety inspections.

“By bolstering American agriculture, we can create jobs, strengthen our economy, and enhance our national supply chain into the future,” said Rep. Newhouse. “Simply put, we should be taking every action we can to strengthen our domestic production while preventing our adversaries from gaining a foothold in our supply chain, and I am proud to be leading that charge in Congress.”

H.R. 7892, which Rep. Newhouse sponsored on May 27 with six original cosponsors, including U.S. Reps. Tom Emmer (R-MN) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN), has been referred to both the U.S. House Agriculture Committee and the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee for consideration.