Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin has ordered Syngenta-owned Northrup King Seed Co. to sell 160 acres of land in the state because of their Chinese roots.
Arkansas is giving Syngenta two years to sell its acreage in the northeastern part of the state, stating national security as the primary reason. According to Reuters, the global seed company is unsurprisingly discontent over the order.
“This is about where your loyalties lie,” Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a news conference.
Syngenta called the decision a “shortsighted action” that will hurt Arkansas farmers.
“Our people in Arkansas are Americans led by Americans who care deeply about serving Arkansas farmers,” Syngenta spokesman Saswato Das told Reuters. The company has owned the site in Craighead County for 35 years, he added.
Syngenta isn’t a new company in the United States. Since 1970, the company has served American farmers, operating in 41 states and employing nearly 4,000 people in the U.S. in 2020. They own about 1,500 acres of U.S. agricultural land used for researcher, development, and regulatory trials.
“We continue to make significant capital investments in the United States that directly benefit American farmers and the economy as a whole — more than $315 million in recent year,” Syngenta shares on their site.
This includes individuals or entities connected to a country subject to the federal International Traffic in Arms Regulations, meaning China.
If Syngenta does not willingly sell its land, the governor says that it can be forced out of the state with legal action. The state is also fining Syngenta $280,000, 25 percent of the reported fair market value of the property, for allegedly failing to report their foreign ownership on time.