Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Opinion

Opinion | Foreign investment in American farmland is a threat to national security

Some states have laws limiting foreign countries from buying American farmland, but not a single state outright prohibits it.

STOCK

Foreign-controlled United States farmland presents serious national security risks to our nation, including the potential for a foreign country such as China to have a massive control over U.S. food production, pricing, and supply chains. We need to work at the local, state, and federal level to learn more about the seriousness of the issue.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, foreign ownership of U.S. farmland nearly doubled between 2010 and 2020. Groups from Canada, the Netherlands, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Germany are among some of the main investors in U.S. farmland. However, several of our adversaries, including China, Iran, and Russia are also buying up our farmland. The Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act of 1978 (AFIDA) requires all foreign persons holding agricultural land to disclose their ownership to the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). The FSA prepares an annual report from these disclosures, and we are seeing more and more alarming investments.

Some states have laws limiting foreign countries from buying American farmland, but not a single state outright prohibits foreign investment. In fact, Alabama recently ranked third highest in the nation for foreign-owned lands. The total amount of foreign-owned land in Alabama is nearly 2 million acres. I regularly get calls and letters from constituents who are gravely concerned about this, and I wholeheartedly share these concerns.

I’ve been looking into different ways we can address this, and I think there are some great opportunities. I recently joined several of my colleagues, including House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member GT Thompson, on a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) insisting we have an immediate, thorough review of foreign investment in U.S. farmland. The letter also calls for information on the impacts of this foreign investment, as well as the federal government’s efforts to monitor these acquisitions. 

While this letter alone will not necessarily solve this problem overnight, it will give us a good starting point to figure out all the details about this issue. We can then take this info and work on good, strong solutions to this problem. Whether it’s our energy, our food, or any commodity, I’m working hard to make sure America is not reliant on any foreign country – especially one that wishes us harm – for basic things we need to survive.

Congressman Jerry Carl is a Republican U.S. representative who represents Alabama's 1st Congressional District.

DIG DEEPER

Featured Opinion

My priority will be making sure your tax dollars are spent wisely.

Opinion

This week, I’m especially grateful to live in this nation built on shared principles and the value of hard work and sacrifice.

Congress

Britt said she and her team are putting in long hours now so that they can hit the ground running when she assumes office...

Congress

Congresswoman Terri Sewell said Pelosi is a true public servant whose tenure as speaker will be remembered as one of the most effective.