Congressman says Chinese purchases of ag land is a national security threat
A US Representative is calling for lawmakers and USDA to intervene and potentially block Chinese purchases of American farmland.
Nebraska Congressman Mike Flood tells Brownfield the U.S. is working to upgrade some of its Midwestern Air Force bases surrounded by farmland. “There’s been interest out there from Chinese real estate purchasers wanting to buy farmland or ranchland close to these ICBM missiles. That’s totally uncalled for. This is national security issue.”
Flood and Representative Elise Stefanek of New York recently sent a bipartisan letter to USDA urging the agency to conduct oversight of purchases of ag land.
When asked if there have been significant purchases of ag land, Flood said “Not that I’m specifically aware of by a foreign entity. Let’s be clear, our citizens have ownership of real estate across the globe and other countries have similar interests. That’s part of a healthy economy. But, when we have an enemy of the United States, the Chinese Communist Party pushing to purchase real estate near sensitive military installations, that’s different.”
And, Flood says, he’s concerned about intellectual property theft. “All of the technology that goes into tractors and ag equipment and use that to increase their production. It goes to trade and national security. It goes to human rights.”
Several state legislatures are considering legislation that would limit the purchase of ag land by foreign investors.