U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin on Thursday introduced the bipartisan Farmland Security Act to increase scrutiny over foreign investments in American agricultural land. The legislation ensures that the American people and Congress have the information needed to address the impact foreign investments have on family farms, rural communities and the domestic food supply
“I’ve been sounding the alarm on the increase in foreign-own farmland for decades and was the original author of the Agriculture Foreign Investment Disclosure Act," Grassley said. Foreign buyers, especially those backed by governments like China, buying up prime farmland here in the U.S. raises serious national security concerns –- and the American people have a right to know about it. By requiring the USDA to report these purchases in real time, we can keep better track of the impact these acquisitions could have on our rural communities. The Farmland Security Act will also help protect domestic food production and our national security interests.”
“I am proud to advocate for our agriculture industry by introducing the American Farmland Security Act,” Baldwin said. “This bipartisan legislation will provide the tools we need to protect the longevity of American family farm operations for generations to come.”
The Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act requires foreign entities to disclose their purchases of American agricultural land. Current reporting shows that foreign-owned agricultural acreage has nearly doubled in the past decade; however, the data that has been collected is incomplete and inaccurate. In fact, investigators estimate that the foreign ownership of land is nearly double current figures.
To protect American farmers, rural communities and domestic food supply, the Farmland Security Act:
Requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to report to Congress on foreign investments in agricultural land in the U.S., including the impact foreign ownership has on family farms, rural communities and the domestic food supply;
Requires the USDA to publish all prior-year disclosures of foreign investments in agricultural land in the U.S. on an interactive and public USDA database and make real-time updates to the database as disclosures are filed.