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Bill aims to increase security for U.S. ag

Bill aims to increase security for U.S. ag

Elise Stefanik’s bill would ban multiple countries from purchasing U.S. ag companies

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A congresswoman has tabled a bill designed to increase security within the U.S. ag sector.

Elisa Stefanik (R-NY 21st District) introduced the Promoting Agriculture Safeguards and Security (PASS) Act, which would prevent certain countries from purchasing U.S. ag companies.

 “Persons who are acting on behalf of or otherwise directed by the government of a prohibited country may not carry out any merger, acquisition, or takeover that could result in foreign ownership of a United States agricultural company,” the bill says.

The four countries this rule would apply to are China, Russia, Iran and North Korea.

Preventing these countries from owning U.S. ag companies is a matter of national security, Stefanik said.

“The United States cannot allow malign ownership bids of American assets by China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea to undermine the efforts of our farmers, whose hard work feeds and fuels our communities,” she said in a statement. “Especially as we witness the devastating impact of a supply chain crisis, the United States cannot cede any ownership of our food supply to those who do not share our security interests.”

The bill would also add the secretary of agriculture as a standing member of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and require the secretary to provide repots on the risk of foreign purchase of ag companies to the American ag sector.

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