Chinese investment in U.S. farmland could become one of the topics to come under scrutiny of the new Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party.
The House voted overwhelmingly 365-65 on Tuesday to create the select committee.
Republican lawmakers also are reintroducing legislation that would ban the purchase of real-estate by "any member of the Chinese Communist Party or an entity linked to the Chinese Communist Party. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, reintroduced the bill on Thursday after introducing it last session as well. Roy was not the only GOP lawmaker to introduce such as bill in the last Congress.
"There is no reason we should allow one of our greatest adversaries -- the Chinese Communist Party -- to buy up land in the United States," Roy said to FOX Business. "If the Soviet Union had been doing this in the 80s, we'd have recognized the threat. China does is not our friend; they want to dominate us and destroy our way of life; we need to wake up and start acting like it."
The bill comes after concerns were raised by members of Congress over plans by the Chinese-based Fufeng Group to build a corn mill plant near Grand Forks, N.D. The project was put on hold until the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) concluded that "it has no jurisdiction" over the 370-acre land purchase.
According to USDA, Chinese investors own just over 352,000 acres of U.S. farmland, or about 1% of all foreign-held farmland.
See, "Controversial Chinese Corn Mill in ND," https://www.dtnpf.com/…
In Florida, GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis also is planning to ask the state legislature to ban China from buying farmland or residences in the state, Businessinsider.com reported.
"We don't want to have holdings by hostile nations," DeSantis said during a press conference on Everglades restoration in Bonita Springs, Florida. "And so if you look at the Chinese Communist Party, they've been very active throughout the Western Hemisphere in gobbling up land and investing in different things."
DeSantis added that it's not in Florida's best interest to have "the Chinese Communist Party owning farmland, owning land close to military bases" and added that other developments and residential homes should also be areas of concern.
In Iowa, U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, a Republican, also told Radio Iowa that the new House select committee should move to forbid Chinese citizens and companies from buying U.S. farmland as well.
"China poses the largest threat our national and global security," Hinson told Radio Iowa, "from posturing against Taiwan to buying up U.S. farmland at alarming rates."
Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.com
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