FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 15, 2017
Contact: Hannah Packman, 202-554-1654
WASHINGTON – U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) today introduced a bill to add the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The bill, known as the Foreign Investment and Economic Security Act of 2017, also directs CFIUS to consider U.S. food and agriculture systems when determining whether or not to approve foreign investment in U.S. companies.
National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson lauded the bill, citing the importance of maintaining food security for the sake of U.S. national security.
“Food security is vital to national security. As we’re seeing across the world, food shortages and disputes are leading to massive international crises. Without stability and certainty in our food systems, we can expect similar crises on our own soil.” said Johnson. “Consequently, global and domestic food security should be a primary consideration for those tasked with ensuring our national security.”
In a letter sent Wednesday to Rep. DeLauro, Johnson highlighted the risk of increased foreign investment in the U.S. agricultural sector, including the purchase of Smithfield Foods by Chinese firm Shuanghui International Holdings, Ltd., the acquisition of Syngenta AG by Chinese-government owned group ChemChina, and the proposed acquisition of Monsanto by German company Bayer AG.
“Given the changing environment due to an increasing global population and a rapidly changing climate, the role of CFIUS must reflect new concerns about national security,” noted Johnson. “NFU is pleased Rep. DeLauro is calling for increased consideration of food security, and we call on Congress to adopt this commonsense legislation.”
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.