Lucas Legislation on Foreign Land Ownership Signed into Law

Washington, DC – Over the weekend, President Biden signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which includes Congressman Lucas’s bill, the Agricultural Security Risk Review Act (H.R. 3378).

H.R. 3378 adds the Secretary of Agriculture as a permanent member on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
“With an increasing amount of potentially hostile foreign investment in U.S. farmland, protecting America’s agriculture industry becomes more and more paramount to our national security. That’s why including the Secretary of Agriculture as a member of CFIUS is long overdue.” said Congressman Frank Lucas.  “As a fifth-generation farmer and rancher, who’s seen this issue grow in concern, I’ve spent years to have this legislation see the light of day. So I applaud my colleagues in the House and Senate for bringing this longstanding priority of mine to President Biden’s desk.” 

“The Agricultural Security Risk Review Act is an important reform that the gentleman from Oklahoma has long championed… While CFIUS is indeed a committee, it benefits from the expertise of particular Member Agencies with relevant expertise. Agriculture is too important to go neglected. Mr. Lucas has long understood this, and I applaud his hard work in championing the Agriculture Secretary’s contributions to CFIUS.”-Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, Chairman, House Financial Services Subcommittee on National Security, Illicit Finance, and International Financial Institutions

Background:
The Agricultural Security Risk Review Act would add the Secretary of Agriculture as a permanent member to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) for any transactions related to the purchase of agriculture land, agricultural biotechnology, or any other transaction related to the U.S. agriculture industry, as determined by the USDA Secretary.

CFIUS is chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury, and Members of the Committee include the heads of the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Commerce, Defense, State, Energy, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and the Office of Science & Technology Policy.

While the Secretary of Treasury can designate the Secretary of Agriculture as a lead agency for transactions on a case-by-case basis, the Ag Secretary is not a permanent Member.

During a House Agriculture Committee hearing earlier this year, USDA Secretary Vilsack discussed the implications of a permanent placement of the USDA Secretary on CFIUS, saying, “Being a permanent member would allow us to educate the other members of CFIUS what to look for and what to be sensitive to when it comes to agriculture and agricultural production.”

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