One House Republican has issued a warning about the dangers of allowing China to get access to the US by increasing its involvement with agriculture in the U.S., just a scant few weeks after one Chinese-owned company purchased a plot of lands just a short 20 minutes away from a U.S. Air Force base.
Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD), as part of an interview with South Dakota Public Broadcasting, issued his warning about the potential dangers of allowing “legitimate villains” like China the ability to access American farmland and agricultural companies.
“Food security is national security,” stated Johnson as part of the interview. “When it comes to people who announce themselves as enemies of the United States, we should not be giving them power over us.”
Johnson stated that it was critically important to “decouple” critical industries such as healthcare, energy, and agriculture, from other countries such as China which are attempting to knock America off the world’s stage.
The statements he issued come just as there have been reports of many Chinese companies attempting to purchase large amounts of farmland all over the country, and he went on to say that a similar situation would not have taken place throughout the Cold War.
“I don’t think we would have let, in the 1980s, the Soviets come in and purchase critical parts of American infrastructure, particularly related to food. I don’t think we should let the Chinese do it now either,” expressed Johnson.
The legislator also highlighted a new bill which he was the co-sponsor of in the House with House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY), which introduced the Promoting Agriculture Safeguards and Security (PASS) Act.
The Pass Act would see to the banning of countries such as Russia, Iran, North Korea, and namely China from being able to buy up American agricultural companies.
“China’s efforts to influence American agriculture threatens U.S. security – this bill is commonsense,” expressed Johnson. ‘We have experienced numerous black swan events in the past few years, and we can’t risk allowing our adversaries closer access to our food and supply chains.”
These statements from the legislator come about just after a recent report that the Fufeng Group, a Chinese-owned flavor and sugar substitute company, bought up over 300 acres of land out in North Dakota just 20 minutes outside of an Air Force base. The base in question, Grand Forks Air Force Base, is allegedly home to some quite sensitive military drone tech, as reported by the New York Post.
Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) also claimed he was very suspicious of the purchase.
“I think we grossly underappreciate how effective they are at collecting information, collecting data, using it in nefarious ways,” he stated to CNBC. “And so I’d just as soon not have the Chinese Communist Party doing business in my backyard.”