U.S. public broadcaster NPR reported that U.S. lawmakers consider China’s purchase of additional U.S. farmland a move that poses a threat to national security.
As of 2021, China owned a very small share, only about 0.9 percent, of all foreign-owned farmland in the United States, according to USDA statistics.
But members of Congress confirmed that between 2009 and 2016 alone, Chinese investment in overseas agriculture increased more than tenfold, raising concerns in many countries, including the US.
The new House Committee on US-China Relations held its first hearings, examining “threats posed by the Chinese government and potential bipartisan solutions.”
“While China is by no means a major player in the U.S. agricultural sector, its growing overseas land holdings are a concern,” Republican committee member Dusty Johnson said.
“The Chinese Communist Party has increased its holdings of foreign agricultural land by 1,000 percent in recent years. Currently, they own about 1,300 agricultural processing enterprises outside of China, and this number is growing rapidly,” he said.
Rep. Johnson is part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers supporting the Pass Act, which imposes a federal ban on China, Iran, North Korea, or Russia buying U.S. farmland or agricultural processing plants.
The committee is planning future field hearings, which may include visits to the country to highlight China’s investment in land or agribusiness.
The site says that former US officials and Chinese dissidents presented arguments in a three-hour committee hearing that the Chinese Communist Party “dominates world markets and endangers American interests.”
In a rare moment of bipartisan unity, lawmakers have vowed to do more to mitigate these threats and boost U.S. competitiveness.
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