Sen. Marshall Co-Sponsor’s Bipartisan, Bicameral Effort to Protect Ag Industry from Foreign Interference
(Washington, D.C., January 27, 2023) – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. has introduced legislation with U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (AL) as part of a bicameral, bipartisan effort to protect America’s agricultural industry from improper foreign investment. The Foreign Adversary Risk Management (FARM) Act would bolster the U.S. agriculture industry’s role on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), the governmental body that oversees the vetting process of foreign investment and acquisition of American companies.
“One of our nation’s best defenses is a safe and secure food supply. As such, America’s agriculture industry must have a permanent seat at the table when it comes to considering foreign investments in the U.S.,” said Senator Marshall. “Foreign nationals owning ag lands, acquiring ag input companies, and becoming shareholders in ag processing companies stands to threaten our food supply. Our farmers, ranchers, and producers must respond to America’s needs first, which is why we must ensure all these foreign investments are properly vetted.”
“Over the past few years, we’ve seen an alarming increase in foreign purchases of farm land and food companies, particularly by China,” said Senator Tuberville. “These foreign investments are now reaching every piece of the very large puzzle that makes up our agriculture industry, from farming and processing, to packaging and shipping. That’s why America’s agriculture community needs to have a permanent seat at the table when our government vets foreign investment in our country. Adding all parts of the agricultural supply chain to the list of transactions reviewed by CFIUS is the first step toward ensuring America’s agricultural suppliers can keep food on tables across the country.”
“Many Hoosiers are concerned about foreign countries buying up farmland, and it is a serious national security and food security concern,” said Senator Braun. “I signed on to the FARM Act to protect American Agriculture from foreign interference.”
“Food security is national security,” said Senator Cramer. “Our government must be diligent in conducting risk assessments of agriculture investments by foreign adversaries – for reasons including geopolitical strategy, U.S. supply chain protection, and support of American farmers and ranchers.”
“The pandemic made it clear that our supply chains are vulnerable, and our reliance on foreign investment in the agriculture industry opens us up to further vulnerabilities,” said Senator Lummis. “I will always be an advocate for Wyoming’s ranchers and farmers and am proud to join Senator Tuberville in introducing the FARM Act to protect our nation’s supply chain.”
“If COVID taught us one thing, it is that we must protect and prioritize American supply chains,” said Senator Rick Scott. “Bad actors, like the Chinese Communist Party, pose serious threats to our national security and cannot be allowed to interfere with critical assets like food security. I am proud to stand with my colleagues in supporting this bill which will bring more oversight and scrutiny to foreign investment—a big win for the agricultural supply chain and food security.”
Leading the effort on the FARM Act in the U.S. House are Representatives Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX-34), Pete Sessions (R-TX-17), and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07).
This legislation was previously introduced in the 117th Congress, and you may click HERE for the full text of the FARM Act.
Over the past few years, the United States has experienced a rapid increase in foreign investment in the agricultural sector, particularly from China. Growing foreign investment in agriculture and other essential industries, like health care and energy, threaten our country’s national security and ability to survive. Our agricultural sector needs increased oversight and transparency to secure our country’s food supply.
The Foreign Adversary Risk Management (FARM) Act is a bipartisan, bicameral bill that would ensure the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) acknowledges the importance of our agricultural industry and agricultural supply chains for our nation’s safe and secure food supply.
CFIUS is authorized to oversee and review foreign investment and ownership in domestic businesses as it relates to national security. Currently, the Committee does not directly consider the needs of the agriculture industry when reviewing foreign investment and ownership in domestic businesses.
Specifically, the Foreign Adversary Risk Management (FARM) Act would:
- add the Secretary of Agriculture as a member to CFIUS;
- add language to protect the U.S. agriculture industry from foreign control through transactions, mergers, acquisitions, or agreements; designate agricultural supply chains as critical infrastructure and critical technologies,
- and report to Congress on current and potential foreign investments in the U.S. agricultural industry from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Government Accountability Office (GAO).
The American agricultural industry has changed significantly over time due to rising foreign investment and consolidation in the industry. The federal government must shed light on global corporations becoming more involved with our domestic food supply and agricultural businesses.