Despite lawmakers’ success in introducing legislation to address the issue, one U.S. farmer raised a red flag that China is still infiltrating “many, many acres” in rural America.
“They’re tapping into the American food structure and this country. And we should be looking at that as food security, people,” National Black Farmers Association President John Boyd Jr. said on “Cavuto: Coast to Coast” Tuesday, “because they’re tapping into American farms and tapping into the hog industry, all of these industries that China is quietly taking over here in the United States.”
Farmers have voiced their concerns for more than two years over Chinese-owned companies purchasing large swaths of rural farmland in states like Oklahoma, Minnesota, North Carolina and Virginia.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data from 2021 indicates that China controls an estimated 383,000 acres of U.S. farmland, with their investments reportedly generating $1.9 billion that year.
Chinese-backed companies with big bucks are also outbidding American farmers for new land, according to Boyd Jr.
“Persons like myself who can maybe pay $4,000 or $5,000 an acre, some of these farms are being run up to $15,000 and $20,000 an acre,” Boyd Jr. explained. “Now, how many American farmers that you know in the United States can afford $20,000 an acre for good farm ground? Because I can’t.”
The fourth-generation Black farmer criticized the Biden administration for being “asleep at the wheel” as China continues gaining land access adjacent to sensitive infrastructure and military bases.
“While we are losing farms, this administration hasn’t done anything to stop farm foreclosures in this country. We have many of our members who are, right now, facing farm foreclosure, but we had $1 billion to help Chinese farmers and other entities in Russia,” Boyd Jr. said.
“But they can come over here and purchase our farmland and purchase our infrastructure and tap into the American government here,” he added. “Something is terribly wrong with this.”
In May, Republicans and Democrats teamed up to introduce a bill that would block foreign adversaries like China from buying U.S. farmland, titled the “Protecting America’s Agricultural Land from Foreign Harm Act.”
In addition to stopping people and companies linked to the Chinese Communist Party from buying U.S. farmland, the bill would block similar purchases out of Iran, North Korea and Russia and prohibit actors associated with the oppressive regimes from participating in certain programs directed by the USDA.
According to Congress’ legislative process tracker, a summary of the bill is still in progress and, thus, has not yet passed in either chamber to make its way onto the president’s desk.
Boyd Jr. called out lawmakers for working “not aggressively” enough in order to pass and enact the law – and protect farmers, their land and businesses.
“U.S. senators and leaders in Congress, they need to put legislation in place to stop China from buying American farm ground and to stop them from buying American companies, and taking over the United States to quietly put a real strong foothold on the United States,” the farmer said. “We’re not doing enough to stop this.”