Stop Subsidizing Foreign Investments of U.S. Farmland
With U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley
Q: What is the Farm Credit for Americans Act?
A: As part of
my ongoing crusade to protect the family farm and U.S. food security, I
introduced this bipartisan legislation with Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who
also serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee and is the chairman of the
Senate Banking Committee. Our bill would prevent foreign individuals from
obtaining credit and financial services through the Farm Credit System (FCS).
Right now, certain foreign individuals and entities are eligible to receive
credit through this government-sponsored enterprise. I hear growing concern
from Iowans at my 99 county meetings about the increase in foreign-owned
farmland. The concern is justified. Food security is national security. Foreign
ownership of U.S. farmland presents a potential threat to our domestic food
supply. Foreign ownership of U.S. land increased by 2.4 million farm acres in
2020. If this trend continues, it will contribute to unfair competition for
young and beginning farmers who seek to buy land. Building on my previous work
for transparency and to get a better handle on foreign-owned farmland, our bill
would ensure no foreign investors can use loans from a government-sponsored
entity to buy up farm acres. The U.S. government serves the American people. We
need to take steps to ensure foreign buyers, including those backed by the
Communist Party of China, are not swallowing up prime land away from American
family farmers with help from the U.S. government. That’s out of whack and
another example why I work to keep federal programs on a short leash.
Q: What is the Farm Credit System (FCS)?
more than a century ago in 1916, the FCS provides credit to rural areas when
commercial lenders were avoiding farm loans. It is mandated and limited by
federal statute to serve agriculture. In 2021, FCS had a portfolio of
approximately $210 billion in farm loans. As a government watchdog, I work
to make sure federal programs are run as Congress intended. Regulations put in
place by the FCS have allowed its network of lenders to extend credit to
certain foreign nationals who are not permanent residents of the United States,
as well as to foreign-owned entities. Our bipartisan bill would make foreign
individuals and entities, as defined by the Agricultural Foreign
Investment Disclosure Act, ineligible for this financing. Since Iowans
first elected me to Congress, I’ve championed the …….