WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced the Farmland Security Act to increase scrutiny over foreign investments in American agricultural land. The legislation ensures that the American people and Congress can address the impacts foreign investments have on family farms, rural communities, and the domestic food supply.
“I am proud to advocate for our agriculture industry by introducing the American Farmland Security Act,” said Senator Baldwin. “This bipartisan legislation will provide the tools we need to protect the longevity of American family farm operations for generations to come.”
“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. 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,” Grassley said.
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 our food supply chains, the Farmland Security Act includes the following provisions:
- The Secretary shall report to Congress on foreign investments in agricultural land in the United States, including the impact foreign ownership has on family farms, rural communities, and the domestic food supply.
- The Secretary shall publish all prior year disclosures of foreign investments in agricultural land in the United States on an interactive public USDA database and have real time updates to the database as disclosures are filed.
A one pager on the legislation is available here.
Full text of the legislation is available here.
An online version of this release is available here.