Does China pose a national security risk to the United States through our fragile American food system?

According to Rep. Dan Newhouse “The current trend in the U.S. is leading us toward the creation of a Chinese-owned agricultural land monopoly”. This recent concern is in line with VP Pence’s statement to the Heritage Foundation that “America cannot allow China to control our food supply”.

The Department of Agriculture has recently stated that as little as a year ago Chinese owners controlled about 192,000 agricultural acres of American farmland in the U.S., worth $1.9 billion. However, that’s not all China is trying to control; to correct their own food insecurity issues (to the detriment of our food security) they are set to buy up a quarter of America’s agricultural exports… pork, corn, and soybeans as well as expanding their presence in companies that own meat processing plants, grain elevators, and other agricultural related products.

If you think China is only buying up and destabilizing the United States, think again…China is using their One Belt-One Road Policy to control our allies as well. According to a 7/19/2021 article in Politico “the USDA reported in 2018 that China’s agricultural investments in other nations had grown more than tenfold since 2009”.

The short-term effects of China’s actions will be to continue destabilizing food prices for both the US farmers exporting to China as well as American consumers. The medium-term effects will be the inability of new farmers in the U.S. to afford land after the prices are bid up so high that it becomes cost prohibitive. The long-term effects of these Chinese actions will be our inability to feed ourselves thus putting our national security at risk.

As a nation I can only hope (although I am very skeptical) that we can come together to stave off the Chinese threat of controlling the world’s resources where we become beholden to their threats and ability to destabilize world economies and their resources.

Thank your politicians, corporations, and entertainers for the road we’re on.