Braun: ‘It Just Doesn’t Make Sense’ for China, Others to Own US Farmland

The Protecting America’s Agricultural Land from Foreign Harm Act of 2023 was introduced with bipartisan support last week in the U.S. Senate. The bill would prevent people associated with the governments of America’s foreign adversaries from buying U.S. farmland.
“Chinese land ownership has gone from $81 million in 2010, by value, to nearly $1.8 billion in 2020. That is a big increase,” says Republican Senator Mike Braun. The Indiana Senator co-sponsored the bill alongside Montana Democrat Jon Tester, a third-generation farmer.
“You have issues like the balloons floating in our airspace,” Braun continued. “It’s just reached kind of a point that states were already doing things individually about restricting it, and this, I think, has got a good chance of catching stride here in the Senate and the House.”
The bill doesn’t just target China. It also refers to Russia, Iran, and North Korea. Other bills like this have been introduced, including in the House, but, as Braun mentioned, he believes this one might be the one to make it.
“All the performance, all the behavior of these four countries have gotten worse over time rather than better. Sooner or later, if you keep pushing behavior that is looking like it’s adversarial, it’ll generate a reaction. I think this is the cumulative effect of all four of these countries over, especially, the last 10 years, that make it look like it just doesn’t make sense that they own critical real estate here in our country.”
Braun adds that this isn’t just a farmer or rural America issue. Those in urban areas should also be concerned about these countries wanting to purchase land near nuclear installations or military bases, threatening national security.
Braun isn’t sure if the bill will move through this Congress or if it will fizzle out, but he’s hopeful everyone is taking notice of the bad behavior from these countries and will realize it’s time to do something about it.
The bill would also prevent people associated with those governments who currently own or lease farmland in the U.S. from participating in USDA programs.
Braun spoke with Hoosier Ag Today on Tuesday. Hear that full conversation below.

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