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Rep. Stefanik Introduces Bill To Prevent Adversaries' Control Over US Agriculture Industry

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Jul 03, 2022 - 12:30 AM

Authored by Mary Hong via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) is introducing a bill to address domestic food security issues and the global food supply chain by preventing foreign adversaries from acquiring U.S. agricultural companies.

House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) (C) speaks at a press conference, was joined by House Republican Whip Steve Scailse (R-La.) (L) and Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), following a Republican caucus meeting, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on June 8, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Stefanik’s bill, titled Promoting Agriculture Safeguards and Security (PASS) Act, would bar anyone acting on behalf of China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea from taking ownership of a U.S. agricultural company.

Food security is national security, and I am proud to stand up against our foreign adversaries as they attempt to exploit any potential vulnerability and assert control over our agriculture industry,” Stefanik said in a press release on July 1.

“The United States cannot allow malign ownership bids of American assets by China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea to undermine the efforts of our farmers, whose hard work feeds and fuels our communities,” she said. “Especially as we witness the devastating impact of a supply chain crisis, the United States cannot cede any ownership of our food supply to those who do not share our security interests.”

Critical Threat to National Security

The proposed legislation included a provision that would make the Secretary of Agriculture a member of the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment. It would also require the secretary to submit a report every 180 days reviewing the risks that foreign purchases of agricultural companies may pose to the U.S. agricultural sector.

Adversarial nations, like China, continue to threaten our homeland, using tactics like buying American agriculture companies and stealing agriculture research to undermine our economy,” Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), who co-introduced the bill, said in a statement.

“Washington must realize that agriculture security in national security, and we have a duty to protect our food supply and those who produce it.”

Experts have previously told The Epoch Times that Beijing could use U.S. farmland investments to stage espionage campaigns against the United States.

China’s Fufeng Group’s purchase of 370 acres of land in Grand Forks, North Dakota as the location for a massive new corn-milling plant was the largest single private capital investment in the region’s history.

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