U.S. Senator Mike Rounds introduced legislation last week that would blacklist Communist China, Russia, Iran and North Korea from purchasing or having a financial interest in land or businesses in the United States involved in agriculture.
All four are socialist or quasi-socialist regimes where companies are either owned and operated by the government, or privately owned and essentially controlled by the government for the purpose of carrying out regime goals.
“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.
“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,” said Rounds.
Round’s Senate legislation comes after Representative Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) introduced the House version of the PASS Act In June.
“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,” Rounds’ office announced in a statement.
Rounds reports his new provisions:
Blacklists China, Russia, Iran and North Korea from purchasing or investing in agriculture 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.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AmericanActionNews.com