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CQ Roll Call: Gap in Data Complicates Legislation to Keep China Off US Farms

March 15, 2023


United States lawmakers are grappling with legislative efforts to limit, or completely oust, foreign control of farm and forest land across the country. According to a 2021 report by the Farm Service Agency, Chinese buyers hold 383,935 acres of land in the US Despite that number being less than 1% of foreign-owned US farm, forest, pasture, and nonagricultural land, multiple members of Congress have proposed bills that would take action against those who own US land and have ties to the Chinese Communist Party. David Ribner of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, who advises US and non-US clients on international trade and investment regulatory matters, noted that some bills aim to block specific transactions while others would designate agriculture as US critical infrastructure. “Unlike some of the other bills that expand CFIUS, the Rounds bill identifies transactions and blocks them,” Ribner said. “I think it would require at minimum further refinement either in the law or implementing regulations. Supply chains are not covered as critical technology. Perhaps it would be better to have a new category of supply chains.”

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