Johnson introduces Promoting Agriculture Safeguards and Security Act

To protect national security and the American food supply, U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD) recently introduced legislation that would prevent United States agriculture companies from being bought by certain adversarial countries.

“China’s efforts to influence American agriculture threatens U.S. security — this bill is common sense,” Rep. Johnson said on July 12. “We have experienced numerous black swan events in the past few years, and we can’t risk allowing our adversaries closer access to our food and supply chains.”

Rep. Johnson on July 1 joined three other Republicans original cosponsors, including U.S. Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), to introduce the Promoting Agriculture Safeguards and Security (PASS) Act of 2022, H.R. 8274, which is sponsored by U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY). 

H.R. 8274 would blacklist China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea from purchasing U.S. agriculture companies, and would include agriculture and biotechnology related to agriculture as critical infrastructure, according to a bill summary provided by the lawmakers.

If enacted, the bill also would ensure that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is included in reviewing any foreign acquisition of American companies that may affect the nation’s agriculture sector by adding the USDA Secretary as a standing member of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the bill summary says.

H.R. 8274 has been referred for consideration to three committees in the U.S. House of Representatives: the Financial Services Committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee, and the Energy and Commerce Committee.