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Our Take on International Trade

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Chairman Gallagher Testifies Before the House Agriculture Committee on Chinese Land Purchases in the United States

Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party ("CCP") testified on March 20, 2024 before the House Agriculture Committee at a hearing entitled “The Danger China Poses to American Agriculture.”  Select Committee Ranking Member Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem also testified at the hearing.

In his testimony, Chairman Gallagher emphasized the national security threat posed by the CCP with respect to China's investments and acquisitions in the U.S. agricultural sector.  In particular, he noted that China's share of U.S. farmland has risen more than five times between 2010 and 2021 as part of the CCP's strategy to increase its leverage over the U.S. agriculture industry.  To that end, Chairman Gallagher advocated strengthening the federal government's ability to track agricultural land purchases by foreign adversaries, including China, and he highlighted two pieces of legislation currently being considered by Congress.  

First, he expressed support for passage of the Protecting U.S. Farmland and Sensitive Sites From Foreign Adversaries Act, which would, among other things, grant the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States jurisdiction to review all land purchases by foreign adversary companies.  The bill would also require mandatory screening for such purchases near sensitive locations, including certain military facilities.  

Second, Chairman Gallagher advocated for passage of the BIOSECURE Act.  This bill, which is intended to counter foreign adversary biotechnology companies that are working to acquire the genetic sequences of plants and animals, would prohibit federal executive agencies from contracting with or extending loans or grants to any company with current or future commercial arrangements with foreign adversary biotechnology companies.  

Although the future of each bill is uncertain at this time, each has received bipartisan congressional support.

There are 2.4 million acres of U.S. land under unknown foreign ownership. We have little understanding of who really owns our land and who is operating in the United States, yet the [Chinese Communist Party's] policies advocate for increased foreign land ownership. Our national security is jeopardized daily by our inability to respond to a very blatant threat: the CCP’s acquisition of U.S. farmland.