A Bipartisan Effort to Protect America’s Farms

This piece was originally published in The Hill.

The 117th Congress will be remembered as a polarized time, but a recent bipartisan effort to protect U.S. agriculture from foreign investments offers a reminder of the potential for cooperation across the aisle.

Recent months have seen prominent Republicans and Democrats alike recognize the importance of knowing what foreign entities are purchasing U.S. farmland, and of preventing bad actors from influencing our agricultural industry. There are serious gaps in our knowledge about foreign purchases of U.S. farmland: my research has found that over $8.3 billion in U.S. farmland purchases go unexplained in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s foreign ownership parcel database, and a lack of transparency often makes it difficult to know just who is buying U.S. farmland.

Where we do have knowledge about foreign investors, the results reveal glaring national security concerns. Most worrying are the number of purchases made by organizations tied to the Chinese Communist Party. Incidents range from a state-owned Chinese bank bankrolling the purchase of America’s largest pork producers, to a CCP- connected billionaire buying hundreds of thousands of acres next to an American military base, to a Chinese company buying property next to an Air Force base.

Click here to read the full piece in The Hill.

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