South Dakota governor warns U.S. House panel about China’s acquisition of American farmland

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem testified before a U.S. House Agriculture hearing on March 20, 2024, addressing the issue of Chinese ownership of U.S. farmland. The hearing took place at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Governor Noem’s presence and participation in the hearing served as a notable contribution to the discussion.

South Dakota Governor, Kristi Noem, issued a warning to the U.S. House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday, urging them to remain cautious regarding Chinese ownership of farmland in the United States.

Governor Noem made an appearance at a hearing that focused on the issue of foreign entities, particularly those from China, purchasing farmland. This topic has raised concerns among members of Congress and in various state capitals, as they are worried about China’s increasing influence and its investments in American agricultural land.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, a Republican known for implementing stringent regulations on foreign entities acquiring agricultural land in her state, expressed her concerns about the gradual infiltration of America’s critical food supply chain by the hostile communist nation. Noem, who has been closely observing this issue over time, emphasized the need to address the systematic takeover of the food industry by this country.

In recent years, there has been an increasing push in Congress to restrict the access of foreign entities and individuals to U.S. agricultural land. This focus on China intensified after a Chinese spy balloon flew over the United States last year. The incident sparked concerns about the potential security risks associated with foreign ownership of American farmland.

The Congress is currently addressing the issue as part of its broader scrutiny of China. Just last week, a vote was passed in the House to prohibit TikTok unless the company separates itself from its Chinese parent company, ByteDance.

In his opening statement, committee Chair Glenn “GT” Thompson, a Republican from Pennsylvania, expressed concerns about China’s actions in recent years. He emphasized that China has been involved in stealing U.S. intellectual property, hacking critical cybersecurity and related infrastructure, weaponizing agricultural trade, and acquiring American farmland at an alarming rate. Thompson highlighted the significant impacts of these activities, stating that they pose threats to national security, harm rural communities, and undermine our overall resilience.

China’s ownership of farmland in the U.S. may be minimal, but it has become a matter of bipartisan concern. In fact, the Senate took action last year by including an amendment in an annual defense measure. This amendment aims to restrict farmland acquisitions not only by China but also by Iran, North Korea, and Russia.

Rep. David Scott of Georgia, who serves as the leading Democrat on the committee, expressed his concern on Wednesday regarding the rhetoric directed towards China. He emphasized the importance of maintaining a focus on policy rather than engaging in inflammatory language.

In his opening statement, Scott expressed concern that the rhetoric surrounding this topic could distract us from addressing the actual problems at hand and potentially lead to violence against Asian Americans.

According to The National Agricultural Law Center, Colorado ranks third in the nation for foreign-held agricultural land, with a total of 2.5 million acres. This puts the state behind Texas and Maine in terms of foreign ownership. In an attempt to address this issue, state Rep. Brandi Bradley, a Littleton Republican, introduced a bill last year that aimed to prohibit foreign ownership of agricultural land in Colorado. Unfortunately, the bill did not make it out of committee.

Reference Article

Avatar photo
MBS Staff
Articles: 5610

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *