China Government

Congresswoman’s Bold Move to Save America from China’s Farm Takeover

Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne of Texas has introduced the Protecting American Farmland Act (H.R.3996), a significant piece of legislation aimed at safeguarding U.S. farmland from foreign adversaries, particularly China. The bill proposes amending the U.S. tax code to impose a 60 percent exercise tax on undisclosed purchases of American farmland by buyers from “countries of concern.” These countries, as defined by the bill, include China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela under the rule of socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro. The introduction of this bill comes as a response to China’s continuous attempts to undermine the United States through various means.

Congresswoman Van Duyne emphasized that American farmland, especially in Texas, is now on the frontline of the fight against the aggressive actions of the Chinese Communist Party. She stated that the bill aims to protect the nation’s farmers, supply chains, and security from the encroachment of foreign hands. Chairman Jason Smith of the House Committee on Ways and Means expressed his support for the bill, highlighting the importance of preventing hostile foreign governments, particularly the Chinese Communist Party, from gaining control over U.S. farmland.

The bill addresses the growing concern over China’s ownership of U.S. agricultural land. Currently, China owns 383,935 acres of U.S. farmland, accounting for 0.9 percent of the total foreign-held land. However, this acreage has seen a significant increase of over 50 percent since the end of 2018. The Protecting American Farmland Act aims to prevent foreign adversaries and companies under their control from acquiring American agricultural resources.

Similar efforts to block China’s acquisition of U.S. farmland have been made in recent months, both in the House and the Senate. Instances of Chinese purchases near sensitive locations have raised national security concerns. For example, a China-based agribusiness with ties to the Chinese Communist Party attempted to purchase land near the Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota but faced opposition due to potential risks. In Texas, a Chinese former military official acquired approximately 140,000 acres of farmland near the Laughlin Air Force Base, prompting concerns about the potential exploitation of this land for purposes that may not align with U.S. interests.

While legislative attempts to address this issue in Texas have faced challenges, with SB 147 failing to pass the House State Affairs Committee, various organizations, including Christian human rights group China Aid, the Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Texas, and Texans for Strong Borders, have voiced support for such measures. They argue that protecting American farmland from foreign acquisition is crucial for national security and maintaining control over the nation’s food supply. These concerns have resonated with many Texans who believe that the state should take decisive action against potential adversaries seeking to gain influence over critical agricultural resources.

As the Protecting American Farmland Act advances, it aims to ensure that U.S. farmland remains under American control and that foreign adversaries, particularly China, do not exploit vulnerabilities in the nation’s agricultural sector for their own gain. Supporters argue that it is crucial to protect the nation’s farmers, supply chains, and economic and food security from potential threats posed by countries engaged in actions contrary to U.S. national security interests.

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