EXCLUSIVE: Reps. Stefanik, Crawford Introduce Bill To Protect U.S. Agricultural Land From Foreign Adversaries

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Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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Republican Reps. Elise Stefanik of New York and Rick Crawford of Arkansas introduced legislation Thursday that would address the “national security threat” of foreign adversaries buying up U.S. agricultural land.

The Daily Caller first obtained the legislation, which will expand reporting and increase the transparency of foreign ownership so the U.S. can identify any attempted land purchases that could pose a threat to national security. The bill is titled the Agricultural Foreign Investment Transparency Act.

Lawmakers sounded the alarm on this issue when Chinese real estate buyers began purchasing land near U.S. military bases. The Chinese also became the biggest foreign land buyers in the U.S. after purchasing around $6.1 billion in real estate in 2021.

According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Chinese ownership of U.S. farmland increased more than twentyfold in a decade, rising from $81 million in 2010 to $1.8 billion in 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“Food security is national security, and we cannot allow our foreign adversaries to assert any control over our land or agriculture industry,” Stefanik told the Caller before introducing the legislation.

“I am proud to shine a light on the malign influence of the Chinese and our other foreign adversaries who are buying up our land, undermining our farmers, and threatening our nation’s security. I will continue to work to prevent our foreign adversaries from taking any ownership or control of the United States’ agriculture industry,” she added.

Here’s What The Bill Would Do: 

  • “Require the Secretary of Agriculture to make all new and existing [Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act] reports publicly available on the USDA website”.
  • “Expand the material reported [under] AFIDA to include security interests and land leases of any period, including idle agricultural land”.
  • “Increase oversight and expand the scope of reporting to ensure there is a report of all idle land acquisitions, companies that issue equity securities that are foreign-traded, and all interest acquired, transferred, or held by a foreign person.”


(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers

At a September press conference, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby dodged a reporter’s question about foreign buyers purchasing land around military installations. (RELATED: ‘How Is That In Our National Interest?’: DeSantis Takes Action To Limit Chinese Communist Party’s Land Buyouts)

“I’m wondering, given the fact that known adversaries — in [this] case China — foreign buyers are buying out U.S. real estate, in some cases farms around military installations, is this on the [Biden] administration’s radar and what is being done, perhaps to study this, or to protect Americans from making sure that homes are made affordable and so on?” the reporter asked. (RELATED: Kirby Dodges Reporter’s Question On Foreign Buyers Purchasing Land Around Military Installations)

“I’m probably not the right person to ask about homeownership here in the United States,” Kirby said in response.

“This isn’t about homeownership. This is about buying up land around military installations. Is that a concern to this administration?” the reporter asked. “I sent this to your office last week. You’ve had a week to look at this, including the article.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis introduced legislation in September that would prohibit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from continuing its policy of land buyouts near U.S military bases in the state.

Stefanik and Crawford’s bill has nine cosponsors, including Reps. Troy Nehls of Texas, Troy Balderson of Ohio, Jim Baird of Indiana, Doug LaMalfa of California, Randy Feenstra and Ashley Hinson of Iowa, Blake Moore of Utah, Dusty Johnson of South Dakota and Tom Emmer of Minnesota.