China’s Eyes on U.S. Ag

Jun 8, 2022

China’s on an ag-related beg, steal, or borrow buy, steal, or acquire rampage, which experts say could put the U.S. economy and national security in jeopardy.

China’s desire to self-sufficiently improve food security is driving new policies and activities—both licit and illicit, according to a new report released by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC).

In 2021, China saw a corn conundrum coming from import demand of over 30M metric tons—a drastic increase over previous demand.

They’re reaching beyond their borders to invest in and acquire farmland, equipment, and intellectual property to improve their food security position. The U.S. being the world leader in, well, all of those things means China’s eyes are wandering this way.

Hog wild worried: Investment in U.S. hog herds enhances China’s domestic capacity, but could give them leverage over U.S. supply chains. Raising their hogs in the U.S. also reduces demand for U.S.-sourced production and leaves behind a mountain of manure impacting U.S. communities.

Acting seedy: Stolen genetically modified seeds may literally seed China’s development of similar technologies. This would reduce dependency on and revenue to U.S. companies, and would also provide the genetic information needed for China to develop disease outbreaks in American crops. Yikes. 

Where this goes: The authors of the report made several recommendations, including better inter-departmental collaboration in the government. They also point at potential gaps in foreign land purchase information requirements.

It will be up to Congress to review the considerations and take action.