Washington, D.C. – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) and Congressman Dan Newhouse (WA-04) today introduced the Prohibition of Agricultural Land for the People’s Republic of China Act to block China from purchasing American farmland.
“Agriculture is Eastern Washington’s number one industry. We simply cannot allow companies from China to lock down our resources and undermine our farmers and ranchers’ ability to feed the world,” said Rodgers. “Americans should not be forced to rely on China for the food they put on the table. Prohibiting the Chinese Communist Party from purchasing farmland in the United States is a no-brainer that will support domestic food production and decrease our dangerous dependence on foreign adversaries.”
Specifically, the Prohibition of Agricultural Land for the People’s Republic of China Act 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. It would also ban the same associations from participating in any United States Department of Agriculture programs except food safety inspections.
“The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is a threat to American democracy. The United States is engaged in a great power struggle with the CCP, and we must respond with tough policies that will protect our farmland and food supply chain,” said Newhouse. “We should be taking every action we can to strengthen our domestic production while preventing our nation’s strongest adversaries from having an advantage over our supply chain. I am proud to introduce this legislation alongside many of my House colleagues to keep the CCP from gaining a foothold from within our own borders.”
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, China’s American agricultural land holdings have increased more than tenfold in the last decade with China investing as much as $2 billion in American agricultural land ownership at the beginning of 2020.
Six states – including Hawaii, Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Oklahoma – have laws banning foreign ownership of farmland. The Prohibition of Agricultural Land for the People’s Republic of China Act would expand this prohibition nationwide and help prevent restrictions from being circumvented by Chinese investors buying large U.S. corporations that own agricultural land.
Click here to read the bill text.