A bipartisan House majority has overwhelmingly passed a measure to keep Chinese investment out of U.S. land vital for producing renewable energy.
The measure, derived from the Defend America’s Rural Energy Act sponsored by Rep. Randy Feenstra (R-Iowa), passed with a vote of 407–26 on March 30 as an amendment to a bill earlier on Thursday that seeks to lower energy costs for Americans. It received support from 223 Republicans and 184 Democrats.
“Food security is national security,” Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-Wis.), who signed on Feenstra’s amendment, told The Epoch Times, adding he was proud to cosponsor a measure that “keeps farmland in the hands of farmers and out of the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) said he believes “American policy should deal with China quite decisively, and assert our massive economic leverage in every way possible.”
“Wars are averted through wise economic policy, and freedom has a chance to take root,” he told The Epoch Times after the measure’s passage. “My Democrat colleagues who understand these simple truths and voted with Republicans today should be recognized and commended. The entire world is imperiled because of CCP aggression, and America must lead the causes of peace through strength, and individual rights.”
Rep. Don Bacon, Republican from Nebraska, noted that his state is “one of the largest food-producing states in the nation and the world.”
“Agricultural security is national security,” he told The Epoch Times.
While Chinese investors own just shy of 1 percent of all foreign-held land in the United States as of 2021, land acquisition from China has taken on an accelerating pace. From 2010 to 2021, purchases from the country have leaped from 13,720 acres to 383,935 acres, a nearly 30-fold increase in just over a decade.
By Eva Fu