Stefanik, Crawford, Costa, Rounds, Tester Work to Protect U.S. Agriculture from Foreign Adversaries

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sara Robertson (Sara.Robertson2@mail.house.gov)

Stefanik, Crawford, Costa, Rounds, Tester Work to Protect U.S. Agriculture from Foreign Adversaries

2/2/2023 

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Congressman Rick Crawford (R-AR), Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA), Senator John Tester (D-MT), and Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) are introducing the bipartisan Promoting Agriculture Safeguards and Security (PASS) Act, which will protect our national security by preventing foreign adversaries from taking any ownership or control of the United States’ agricultural land and agricultural businesses.

As a response to reports of China threatening America’s food supply by acquiring U.S. farmland and agriculture companies, this bill will ensure the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is fully involved in reviewing our foreign adversaries’ acquisition of American companies that may affect our agriculture sector.

“Food security is national security, and I am proud to stand up against our foreign adversaries as they attempt to exploit any potential vulnerability and assert control over our agriculture industry,” said Congresswoman Elise Stefanik said. “The United States cannot allow malign ownership bids of American assets by China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea to undermine the efforts of our farmers, whose hard work feeds and fuels our communities. Especially as we witness the devastating impact of a supply chain crisis, the United States cannot cede any ownership of our food supply to those who are actively working against our security interests.”

“Recent reports of entities ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party buying American farmland and agriculture companies validate the need for a more proactive posture on protecting our agriculture sector from foreign threats. Adversarial nations like China, Iran, Russia, and North Korea should not be given the opportunity to chip away at our economy and harm our agriculture producers who have worked diligently to create the world’s largest, safest, and most abundant food supply. I appreciate colleagues like Rep. Stefanik who are willing to stand up for our farmers and bring real solutions to the table,” said Congressman Rick Crawford.

“Food is a national security issue. Increasing foreign ownership of American farms and farmland is a threat to our food security,” said Congressman Jim Costa. “We need to prevent foreign adversaries like China and Iran from undermining the American agricultural industry. We introduced this legislation to ensure American agriculture is operated by American businesses.”

“Protecting American farmland is critical to maintaining our national security,” said Senator Mike Rounds. “In my travels around South Dakota, I have heard from many farmers and ranchers who are concerned about foreign adversaries owning American farmland. This legislation makes certain American interests are protected by blacklisting foreign adversaries from purchasing land or businesses involved in agriculture.”

“As a third-generation Montana farmer, I’m not going to sit back and let our foreign adversaries weaken our national security by buying up American farmland,” said Senator Jon Tester. “That’s why I’m proud to be joining my friend Senator Rounds on this bipartisan effort to prevent foreign entities from acquiring U.S. farmland and ensure our farmers have a seat at the table when the government makes decisions impacting our national security.”

The Promoting Agriculture Safeguards and Security (PASS) Act:

  • Prohibits China, Russia, Iran and North Korea from purchasing U.S. agricultural land and agricultural companies
  • Adds the Secretary of Agriculture as a standing member of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to consider agriculture needs when making determinations affecting our national security, 
  • Requires the President to submit a report to Congress on any waiver granted to a prohibited country, and
  • Requires reporting from the Secretary of Agriculture on the risk of foreign purchases of agriculture companies to the American agriculture sector.

Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Mike Johnson (R-LA), David Valadao (R-CA), Austin Scott (R-GA), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Barry Moore (R-AL), John Rutherford (R-FL), James R. Baird (R-IN), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Marc Molinaro (R-NY), Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Max Miller (R-OH), Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Tom Cole (R-OK), and Claudia Tenney (R-NY) cosponsored this legislation.

The Senate version of the bill was cosponsored by Senators John Thune (R-SD), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and John Hoeven (R-ND).

Read full bill text here.

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