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US Senator introduces bill which aims to ban Chinese investment in agribusiness US | China
Image: Twitter/Senator Mike Rounds

US Senator introduces bill which aims to ban Chinese investment in agribusiness

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 20 Aug 2022, 11:36 pm

Washington: U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) introduced legislation that would blacklist China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea from investing in, purchasing or otherwise acquiring land or businesses involved in agriculture.

“Protecting American farmland is critical to maintaining our national security,” said Rounds.

“As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I was alarmed when a Chinese company recently purchased farmland near an Air Force base in North Dakota. This acquisition could threaten our national security by allowing the Chinese Communist Party to closely monitor the operations and communications at a very important military facility," he said.

“In my travels around South Dakota, I’ve heard from many farmers and ranchers who are concerned about foreign adversaries owning American farmland. It’s time to put a stop to this and take action. This legislation makes certain American interests are protected by blacklisting foreign adversaries from purchasing land or businesses involved in agriculture,” Rounds added.

On July 1, 2022, Representative Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) introduced the House version of the PASS Act. Rounds’ legislation retains key provisions of the House version and adds additional language related to foreign investments, agricultural land acquisition, and reporting by the Secretary of Agriculture.

The new provisions are outlined below:

Blacklists China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea from purchasing or investing in agricultural land and companies.

Requires reporting from the Secretary of Agriculture on the risk to the American agriculture sector of foreign takeovers and/or investments in agriculture companies or land used for agricultural purposes.

Allows the President, after reporting to Congress on why doing so is vital to the national security interests of the United States, to waive the requirement prohibiting a transaction on a case-by-case basis.