China's threat to American food security

 

Last updated 6/8/2022 at 9:41am



China has been buying up American farmland, and, for some reason, people aren’t worried about it.

Maybe they’re unaware that China’s American agricultural land holdings have increased over tenfold in the last decade. Maybe they’re unaware that at the beginning of 2020, investments from China held $2 billion of American agricultural land. Maybe they’re unaware that 2021 was the 10th straight year America’s trade deficit with the Chinese eclipsed $300 billion. Maybe they’re unaware that China owns 50% of the global reserves of corn. But I’m not.

China is slowly, but surely, acquiring more land and resources outside their own borders, and right now they’re targeting America. I want to be very clear: this is not something to take lightly.

The Chinese Communist Party and the Government of the People’s Republic of China are not our allies. China is controlled by an unforgiving communist regime that represses domestic opposition and undermines American interests. And for years, the United States’ dependence on China has harbored a rising threat to our national security. After decades of well-known wrongdoings, human rights violations, and manipulation of American intellectual property, it is time to get serious about reducing our dependence on China and its role in our nation’s supply chains — the U.S. cannot become dependent on China for our domestic agriculture and food supply.

We hail from the greatest country in the world, and there is simply no reason we should be reliant on a communist country like China. If we begin to cede the responsibility over our food supply chain to an adversarial foreign nation, we could be forced into exporting food that is grown within our own borders and meant for our own use. Conversely, by bolstering American agriculture, we can create jobs, strengthen our economy, and enhance our national supply chain into the future.

Two weeks ago, the U.S.-China Economic Security and Review Commission released a report echoing my concerns: “If further consolidations and Chinese investments in U.S. agricultural assets take place, China may have undue leverage over U.S. supply chains.”

China is many things, but an ally to the U.S. it is not. The Chinese Communist Party is a national security threat that seeks to rebuild the world order in its image and is willing to play the long game to reach that goal. We must stop pretending China is an ally, and instead recognize it for the adversary that it is.

The facts are clear: we must strengthen our domestic production and prevent our adversaries from gaining a foothold in our supply chain before it’s too late, and I am proud to be leading that charge in Congress.

I introduced legislation that would prohibit the purchase of public or private agricultural land in the United States by foreign nationals associated with the Government of the People’s Republic of China. Additionally, the legislation would prohibit the same associations from participating in any United States Department of Agriculture programs except food safety inspections.

I will continue to stand up to China and all of our foreign adversaries on behalf of the people of Central Washington and the United States, because food security is national security. And when China is buying up American agricultural assets, yes, you should be worried.

 

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