House committee votes to restrict foreign land purchases
July 7, 2023
Recently, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee voted to adopt an amendment restricting the purchasing of U.S. agricultural land by the Chinese Communist Party, Russia, North Korea, or Iran. The vote tallied 34-26.
The amendment to the Agriculture and Rural Development Appropriations bill was introduced by Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and comes on the heels of a growing awareness across the United States of land being purchased by foreign entities, including by some nations that are considered American adversaries. Newhouse’s action brings to a national level something that more than a dozen individual states, such as Montana, have been attempting to do in recent months.
The amendment to the 2024 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies bill directs the U.S. secretary of Agriculture to take any actions necessary to prohibit the purchase of U.S. agricultural land by nonresident aliens, foreign businesses, or any agent, trustee, or fiduciary associated with Russia, North Korea, Iran, or the Community Party of China. The bill overall includes nearly $26 billion to fund a variety of initiatives, including nutrition, agricultural research, and rural development.
“Increased ownership of U.S. farmland by countries who are not our allies is an alarmingly growing trend that poses a risk to our national and economic security,” Newhouse said. “For example, according to the USDA, the Chinese Communist Party currently owns over 380,000 acres of farmland in the United States, which is worth about $2 billion. But even more shocking than that is the trend: the CCP has increased their purchases by a factor of 10 over the last decade. This poses an immediate threat to U.S. national security and food security.
“When I talk to the many farmers and landowners in my district, they express deep concern about this encroachment of our land from foreign adversaries. They agree; we can no longer ignore the writing on the wall, and we must act to stop this threat now before it becomes too late.”
Newhouse is a member of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, which works on a bipartisan basis to build consensus on the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party.