Home>Highlight>Steinhardt bill seeks to stop China from buying N.J. farms

Doug Steinhardt at the Celebration of the Life and Legacy of Governor James Florio. October 3, 2022. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe).

Steinhardt bill seeks to stop China from buying N.J. farms

‘Food security is national security,” GOP lawmaker says

By David Wildstein, January 26 2023 12:22 pm

Citing concerns that the Chinese are buying American farms and could control the nation’s food supply, State Sen. Doug Steinhardt (R-Lopatcong) has introduced legislation prohibiting foreign government or individual ownership of New Jersey farmland.

Steinhardt’s proposal would also mandate the sale of any foreign-owned farmland within five years with a  deed easement requiring continued agricultural use.

“We need to pay attention to the fact that China and its proxies have been buying up farmland across the United States,” Steinhardt stated.  “When you recognize that food security is national security, it quickly becomes clear that we need to prevent our agricultural lands in New Jersey from falling under the control of hostile foreign governments.”

Steinhardt says Chinese owners have purchased farmland near U.S. military installations in Texas and North Dakota.

“We can’t make the same mistake with our farms that we made with other industries like manufacturing that we handed over to China and other adversaries and competitors,” Steinhardt said. “You can live without your iPhone if China shuts off the supply from its factories, but you can’t live without the food from our farms.  It’s that simple.”

An Assembly version of the bill to prohibit foreign ownership of farmland was introduced by Alex Sauickie (R-Jackson) and John DiMaio, the minority leader, in January.

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