States Lead on Protecting Farmland from China

America’s agricultural heartland faces a growing threat from China, and state legislatures are stepping up to confront it, says a new report from the America First Policy Institute.

The report indicates that ownership of U.S. agricultural land by the Communist Party of China and its state-controlled affiliates has skyrocketed from 13,720 acres in 2010 to 352,140 acres in 2020. The estimated value is $1.9 billion.

In response, lawmakers in at least 23 state legislatures introduced 53 bills in 2023 to impede Chinese control of American agricultural land. The China Policy Initiative at the America First Policy Institute has also worked with legislative leaders and governors in multiple states as they work to protect America’s farmland from control by a hostile foreign power.

“Our agricultural land and farmers are a strategic asset to America. The Communist Party of China, or any adversarial nation, cannot be allowed to dominate U.S. food markets,”said Steve Yates, Chair of the China Policy Initiative at the America First Policy Institute.

“Legislation is needed immediately to ensure our Nation’s food security and independence and protect all our communities. This is a national security issue and food security issue, and we owe it to our children and grandchildren to fix it now.”

The report suggests states pursue “strategic decoupling” from China to ensure it cannot influence our food or other critical supply chains. It does not endorse specific legislation but outlines broad strategies and goals that should be enacted.

The full report is available here.

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