According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s 2020 estimate, Chinese investors hold a total of 352,140 acres of American farmland, with the communist-run country rapidly moving to increase this total since then.
This is the issue that Sens. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) seek to address by introducing the Securing America’s Land from Foreign Interference Act, a bill intended to restrict Chinese Communist Party (CCP) ownership of American land.
The bill had previously been put forth by Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) in the House of Representatives in June 2021, but never received a vote. Tuberville and Cotton are aiming to revive the effort as the Chinese Communist Party continues to accumulate American land.
“Notwithstanding any other provision of law,” the bill reads, “the President shall take such actions as may be necessary to prohibit the purchase of public or private real estate located in the United States by members of the Chinese Communist Party or any foreign person acting for or on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party.”
“Chinese investments in American farmland put our food security at risk and provide opportunities for Chinese espionage against our military bases and critical infrastructure,” Cotton explained.
“We cannot continue giving our top adversary a foot in the door to purchase land in the United States and undermine our national security,” Tuberville added in a joint statement with Cotton.
With Democratic control of the Senate, it’s uncertain whether the bill has a path to President Biden’s desk. Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) attacked a similar proposal last year on the basis that it “would perpetuate already rising anti-Asian hate.”
The bill may still have hope of passing, though, as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and other Democrats have displayed openness to tighter limits on farm ownership. Whether she would support a bill specifically targeting China, however, remains to be seen.
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