South Dakota’s lone House representative continues to fight against foreign governments in buying up US farmland.
Rep. Dosty Johnson, a Republican, is sponsoring a bill introduced by the Chinese Communist Party’s House Select Committee on Wednesday that would give the Committee on Foreign Investment in America more power to review and review land purchases by foreign governments it deems hostile. A National Security Assessment of US Food Security.
The opposition nations to the bill include China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela, where President Nicolas Maduro is in power.
The Secretary of Agriculture can vote on CFIUS reviews of farmland and agricultural technology, according to the bill.
He said the bill was the last step to address the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party to U.S. Johnson, who sits on the election committee. Hakeem Jeffries, D-NY.
More: Chinese companies are in the crosshairs as South Dakota officials call for supply chain reforms
“They told us that the threat from the Chinese Communist Party is too real for us to play party games,” Johnson said.
He added that the work of the committee is getting stronger and they believe that the new bill can make it out of the House.
“This bill is very meaningful and widely supported,” he said. “It doesn’t have to drive the big bill, it can stand on its own merits.”
What else has been done to target an adversary foreign government’s purchase of American land?
Introducing the Agricultural Protection and Security Act, known as the PASS Act, was introduced in February by Sen. Mike Round, R-SD, a bill that would prevent foreign governments from investing in American farmland and require reporting of foreign incursions and accidents. Investment in the American agricultural industry. A similar bill was introduced by Johnson last year but did not make it out of the House.
The proposal for the 2022 PASS Act came about when a Chinese company called Fufeng Group bought land near Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota. That incident prompted Gov. Christie Nohm to introduce legislation in the Legislature in 2023 that would create an independent government board similar to CFIUS. That legislation ultimately failed.
More: Senator Mike Rounds introduced the Senate version of the PASS Act
But a new South Dakota law that took effect July 1 prohibits the state from doing business with “prohibited entities” such as China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia or Venezuela.
What else does the proposed federal law do?
In a press release from Johnson’s office, five additional actions from the legislation were listed.
Those actions include giving CFIUS authority over foreign and non-monopoly foreign government purchases, requiring CFIUS to consider U.S. food security in national security assessments, establishing an “unresolvable presumption” and raising the threshold for transactions. Near Sensitive Sites, mandate CFIUS to provide foreign parties making land purchases near sensitive sites and require the agency to expand its list of sensitive national security sites to include military facilities, national laboratories, and more.
More: Noem has proposed a bill that prohibits certain foreign governments from doing business with SD
Johnson explained that currently, if a foreign government wants to do business with CFIUS, the agreement must meet CFIUS requirements, and if the agreement does not help, CFIUS can meet the requirements by submitting recommendations to the foreign government. The new bill makes this even more difficult.
“What we want to do here is say, ‘No, default change’ — start with the assumption that you can’t make small changes to resolve these conflicts,” Johnson said. “Essentially, the burden of proof is on the other side, and we need to be confident that by approving Chinese investments they will not harm American interests.”
This article originally appeared in the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader: SD Rep. Dusty Johnson pushes to regulate foreign farmland purchases.