Countering China

Published 9:52 am Wednesday, February 22, 2023

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By Rep. Jerry Carl

Last week, I wrote about the catastrophe of the Biden administration allowing the Chinese spy balloon to fly over the United States for days before taking action to shoot it down. In the days since, my colleagues and I – along with the American people – have continued demanding answers about exactly what happened, what we are doing to prevent something like this from happening again, and what information this spy balloon collected while it was hovering over the United States.

Unfortunately, sending a spy balloon our way isn’t the only thing China is doing to collect information on American citizens and threaten our nation’s sovereignty. It’s no secret China is spying on us through means like the TikTok app, but not many people realize the Chinese Communist Party owns a vast amount of American farmland – much of it near and around sensitive U.S. military sites. This is a direct threat to national security, and it’s something several of my colleagues and I have been working hard to counter.

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Chinese-owned American farmland poses a huge national security risk to our nation because it gives a foreign adversary the potential to have significant control over U.S. food production, pricing, and supply chains. This is why we need a team effort at the local, state, and federal level to prevent China from continuing to buy up our farmland.

Last fall, I joined several of my colleagues on a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) insisting we have an immediate, thorough review of foreign investment in U.S. farmland. It also called for detailed information on the impacts of these foreign investments, as well as the federal government’s efforts to monitor these purchases. This letter was a first step to finding out more info.

Earlier this year, I joined Rep. Dan Newhouse’s bill – the Prohibition of Agricultural Land for the People’s Republic of China Act, which would prohibit U.S. agricultural land ownership by members or associates of the People’s Republic of China and/or the Chinese Communist Party.

More recently, I joined Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) on a bill called the Foreign Adversary Risk Management (FARM) Act. This bill would place the Secretary of Agriculture on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. It would also require a review of any investment that could result in foreign control of American farmland.

We can – and must – find a way to respect private property rights, while ensuring foreign adversaries like the Chinese Communist Party are not taking advantage of us by buying up American farmland and violating our sovereignty. I will continue doing all I can to make this a reality.