China represents the greatest threat to our national, economic, energy, and food security. From buying up American farmland to stonewalling investigations into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, China cannot be trusted. As we begin the 118th Congress, I have helped introduce several pieces of legislation to counter the Chinese Communist Party’s aggression and protect our most vital, yet finite resource in rural America – our farmland.
Last week, I joined a bipartisan coalition of my colleagues in introducing the FARM Act to prevent malign foreign interests from infiltrating rural America and protect America’s agricultural supply chains and family farms. On my biannual 36 County Tour, I have met with countless Iowans who are rightfully concerned about foreign countries like China buying our farmland, especially near our military bases. So am I.
Foreign ownership of American farmland is a direct threat to our national and food security, and it must be stopped. As such, the FARM Act requires the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to review any investment that could result in foreign control of any U.S. agricultural business and designates our agricultural systems and supply chains as critical infrastructure. Iowa farmers are the breadbasket to the world, and I will continue to do everything in my power to protect our livelihoods and keep China far away from our farmland.
More recently, I worked with my colleague from Washington state, Rep. Dan Newhouse, to introduce the Prohibition of Agricultural Land for the People’s Republic of China Act. This legislation is straightforward. Any person or entity associated with the Chinese Communist Party is strictly prohibited from purchasing American farmland – as they should be. Foreign investors already own more than 37 million acres of American farmland, which is larger than the state of Iowa itself. That’s why we cannot allow China to get their hands on even one more acre of our land.
Finally, I am also working diligently to reintroduce the Agriculture Foreign Investment Transparency Act, which I helped lead with my colleagues Rep. Rick Crawford of Arkansas and Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York last Congress. This legislation amends the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act (AFIDA) to actively monitor foreign purchases of American farmland and promote transparency in land acquisitions by foreign entities. Currently, AFIDA requires foreign investors to report their holdings or transactions to the Secretary of Agriculture within 90 days of acquisition, and this legislation would require the Secretary of Agriculture to post this information publicly on the USDA’s website. This commonsense bill is a victory for American farmers, government transparency, and our national security.
With growing threats abroad, we must redouble our efforts to protect our farmland and our national security. As your voice in Congress, I will continue to stand up to China and protect our rural way of life because Iowa farmland belongs to Iowa farmers.
We are government together, and your thoughts and opinions matter to me. Please contact my office at Feenstra.House.Gov or by phone at 202-225-4426 if I can ever be of assistance. I am proud to represent our families, farmers, main street businesses, and rural communities in Congress.