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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) today reintroduced the Security and Oversight of International Landholdings (SOIL) Act in order to provide oversight and transparency of purchases of U.S. agricultural land that threaten national security.

“While there’s no question America has some of the best farmland in the world, it’s doubtful China is buying it up to plant more wheat and potatoes,” said Risch. “The SOIL Act will introduce stricter measures and oversight to prevent bad actors, like China and Russia, from purchasing our agricultural land—particularly land near U.S. military installations.”

“Our state overwhelming rejected ‘legalizing’ recreational marijuana earlier this month because we have seen firsthand how foreign criminal organizations exploit vulnerabilities in our law to destroy our families and communities for their profit,” said Lankford. “Every region of Oklahoma is concerned about foreign nationals buying up farmland. Our loose oversight has allowed transnational criminal organizations to partner with Chinese nationals to buy land and businesses throughout Oklahoma. This is a national security issue and a human rights issue. We need to know who is buying our land, how they are using it and if any criminal activity is occurring.”

“Food security is national security, and it’s alarming how the Chinese Communist Party has been buying up American farmland as fast as they can,” said Tillis. “This commonsense legislation increases transparency and oversight on these purchases so we can protect both North Carolina farmers and the world’s most abundant food supply from our adversaries.”

“For too long, Washington has allowed foreign adversaries like China and Russia to buy up American farmland and its precious water resources while our family farmers and our economies became collateral damage. For the sake of American growers, farmers, and ranchers, we need to modernize and strengthen our tools to evaluate the risk of these foreign purchases on our supply chains and our national security,” said Bennet.

The SOIL Act deters criminal investment in US agriculture by:

  • Requiring Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) review of agriculture real estate purchases by certain foreign entities;
  • Banning federal assistance for certain foreign-held real estate holdings; and
  • Broadening disclosure requirements for land purchases made by foreign entities.

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