WASHINGTON—Senator Braun, member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, warned of China’s playbook to build power though investment in American agriculture at a hearing on foreign ownership in U.S. agriculture. In his remarks, he highlighted bipartisan legislation that he introduced in March with Sen. Tester, Tuberville and Rubio to prohibit the purchase of U.S. farmland by those associated with the governments of our foreign adversaries (Iran, North Korea, China and Russia). 

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On his bill, Protecting America’s Agricultural Land from Foreign Harm Act

“Senator Tester and I did a bill, Protecting America’s Agricultural Land from Foreign Harm Act, also sponsored by Senator Tuberville and Senator Rubio. It would prohibit persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction of China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia from owning or leasing American agricultural land. It would also stop these individuals from participating in any of the USDA programs. I’ve vetted this bill carefully with the USDA, the intel community, and a handful of committees here in Congress. I would like to submit letters of support for this legislation into the record from the Agribusiness Council of Indiana, America First Policy Institute, and Heritage Action.”

On China’s playbook for American agriculture

“China has invested heavily in Belt and Road Initiatives throughout Africa, somewhat in South America, we’ve seen them steal intellectual property, manipulate currencies, just do about anything out there that would not be in the category of a handshake business partner. We’ve watched them leverage corrupt influence over the WHO, perpetuating a years-long lie about how the covid-19 pandemic started. Now China is running the same playbook on agriculture, using direct investments and regulatory capture at trusted international organizations to build power. Something has to give and I am concerned about what time we have left here this year and if these bills do not make it into the farm bill or in a way through this committee, would Madam chair and ranking member be okay with trying to maybe get them into the NDAA?”

Senator Braun’s Protecting America’s Agricultural Land from Foreign Harm Act is supported by America First Policy InstituteHeritage Action and Agribusiness Council of Indiana