Looking Up, Looking Down
While the military is focused on foreign objects flying over American and Canadian territory, a more disturbing threat to our national security is occurring on the ground. Federal, state and local governments are behind in their response to the acquisition of American land by people and companies associated with the Chinese government.
The Department of Agriculture is supposed to oversee foreign ownership of U.S. farmland and all such purchases are required by law to be reported to the USDA. It is unclear how much reporting has been done because the USDA’s Farm Service Agency mostly relies on volunteer reporting. That must change.
Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-IA) is among a growing number of Members of Congress who want more monitoring of farmland sold to foreigners.
The Quad City Times reported on research by Investigate Midwest (which self-describes as “an independent, nonprofit newsroom…(serving) the public interest by exposing dangerous and costly practices of influential agricultural corporations and institutions through in-depth and data-driven investigative journalism”). It found “significant gaps in the USDA database (and discovered) 3.1 million acres without an owner listed.”
Constitutional attorney John Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute notes, “As of 2021, foreign persons and entities owned 40.8 million acres of U.S. agricultural land,