Stabenow, Grassley, Ernst, Tester introduce CFIUS legislation |

Stabenow, Grassley, Ernst, Tester introduce CFIUS legislation

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, joined by Sens. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Jon Tester, D-Mont. last week, introduced legislation to give top U.S. agriculture and food officials permanent representation on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

The bipartisan Food Security is National Security Act would also include new agriculture and food-related criteria for CFIUS to consider when reviewing transactions that could result in control of a U.S. business by a foreign company.

“Our national security depends on a food system that is safe, secure, and resilient,” Stabenow said. “As foreign entities continue their acquisitions of U.S. food and agriculture companies, American farmers and families deserve to know these transactions receive proper scrutiny.”

“This bill ensures that the U.S. has the appropriate tools and people in place to safeguard America’s food security, food safety, biosecurity, and the highly competitive U.S. farm sector as a whole,” Stabenow said.

“As we think about the future and the growing global population, it’s important to consider our nation’s food supply. With foreign investments from around the world going to American farmland and agricultural companies that are critical to the nation’s supply chain it’s important that we provide adequate oversight into these investments,” Grassley said.

“Agriculture plays an essential role in national security. As we continue to compete in a global economy and our national security strategy continues to evolve, it’s important to have representation of agricultural interests on CFIUS.”

CFIUS is a panel of government officials tasked with reviewing proposed mergers and acquisitions of U.S. companies by foreign entities. Its job is to assess whether transactions initiated by foreign entities could threaten U.S. national security interests.

CFIUS does not include permanent representation from the Agriculture Department or the Department of Health and Human Services, the two agencies with primary responsibility for safeguarding the integrity, resiliency and quality of the nation’s food supply.

Both the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union endorsed the bill.


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