Congressman Bruse Westerman's Weekly Column: Protecting American Farmland

Protecting American Farmland


Our national food supply is reliant on our farmlands, of which our country is blessed with a vast abundance. We have an obligation to protect our agricultural lands, the Americans who own them, and the food that is produced there.


Unfortunately, our foreign adversaries, like the Chinese Communist Party, are buying up our farmland right under our noses. This is a direct threat to our national food supply and the farmers and ranchers who produce it.


For the past four years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has turned a blind eye and has neglected to address this threat. This past week, I joined Representative Elise Stefanik, fellow Arkansan Representative Rick Crawford, and many of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle in sending a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack seeking answers about why the USDA has ignored these threats to local farmers, rural communities, and our national food supply.


Our population is growing at a rapid rate, and with more people comes an increased demand for food. Food security is national security. We cannot leave the fate of our nation’s food supply in the hands of our adversaries.


At the beginning of last month, I joined the Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus, Dan Newhouse, and many of my Republican colleagues in cosponsoring a bill that will prohibit the purchase of U.S. land by the Chinese Communist Party. The “Prohibition of Agricultural Land for the People’s Republic of China Act” will prohibit the purchase of private or public agricultural land in the U.S. by any foreign nationals with ties to the Chinese Communist Party.


The U.S. already relies on other countries for a multitude of agricultural exports. According to the USDA, foreign ownership of agricultural lands nearly doubled from 2009-2019. We are at a critical point in history. We have an obligation to take every action we can to bolster American production while preventing our adversaries from gaining control of our supply chains. Investments in American farmland are critical to our nation’s security, trade capabilities, and economic growth.


3-3-23 2:18 PM KAWX.ORG


KAWX is now at 89.3 FM!