FARM Act: looking out for farmers, our food supply, and national security
October 11th 2021
Lawmakers are taking a closer look at foreign investment in agriculture, calling it a matter of national security.
The Foreign Adversary Risk Management Act, or the FARM Act, would give agriculture representation on the Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States.
"There's no representation for the farmers on that committee. We would like to see the Secretary of Agriculture to be on that committee, where he can look out for the farmers and our food supply because that's national security," according to Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville.
The committee oversees the vetting process of foreign investments or acquisition of American companies, and Sen. Tuberville says that it is critical for agriculture to be included.
"You might not be able to change anything but you can bring it out to light," he states. "Right now, we really don't know what's going on. If you're a farmer, if you're in forestry, if you're in the food supply, if you're on the food chain, you have no say so whatsoever, so let's just get some representation."
Chinese firms have been expanding their presence in American ag over the last decade and currently own around 192,000 acres of American farmland worth $1.9 billion dollars, according to the latest USDA data.
"I think it's important. I think it is a big step forward for the farmers, especially since China's coming into the country, buying up everything they can buy, along with some other countries. We need to keep family farms and we need to keep our big farms, and we need to know that they're U.S. made, and the people in the United States are the ones that are behind our food supply," he adds.
China also purchased pork packing company Smithfield Foods back in 2013, but Sen. Tuberville says...
more, including video report [2:36 min.]