NewsNation: Bipartisan call to stop foreign purchase of farmland
(NewsNation) — At least eleven state legislatures are considering laws to limit countries like China from buying farmland, along with a bipartisan bill which is working its way through the U.S. Senate.
Republican Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota has teamed up with Democratic Senator Jon Tester of Montana to pass a bill that would prevent adversarial countries from buying agricultural land.
This legislature comes on the heels of a ruling in Grand Forks, North Dakota, where a grassroots effort managed to stop Chinese-owned Fufeng Group from building a corn mill just miles from an air force base, after a year of battling the council to get the project stopped.NewsNation reporter arrested at Ohio governor’s news conference
Grand Forks, North Dakota, is just one of the places Americans are livid that Chinese-owned companies are buying up farmland. Now, both federal and state lawmakers throughout America are trying to stop countries like China from buying more land.
“The last thing we need to do is let them buy up farmland which is critical to our food security and to our national security,” said Senator Jon Tester.
Rural communities often turn to foreign investors, because investors and big Chinese companies will sometimes pay double or even triple what the land is worth. These communities are also drawn by the opportunity for economic development and jobs when foreign companies build plants on the land.
This was the case in Grand Forks, North Dakota, which is now stuck with three hundred acres of land owned by a Chinese company after the corn mill project was shut down.
“Well I think you have seen a ramp up. You have seen in the last couple of years with Russia invading Ukraine and Russia being an ally of China. With the balloon. With Taiwan,” said Grand Forks’ Mayor Brandon Bochenski. “Tensions have increased. I think in the past we looked at business differently from the government itself. But now we are looking at it as one and the same and that has changed in the last couple of years.”