October 3, 2022
House Ag Committee ranking member G.T. Thompson (R-Pa.) and Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), Republican leader on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, in a letter to General Accountability Office (GAO) Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, asked the GAO to conduct a study addressing the following:
1. What is known about the extent of and trends in foreign investment in U.S. agricultural land (e.g., by country of investor, by state, by type of land)?
2. How does the Farm Service Agency collect data ona foreign investment in U.S. agricultural land and what steps are taken to ensure data reliability? How have USDA’s data collection methods changed since AFIDA was enacted in 1978?
3. What procedures are in place to ensure proper disclosure of acquired agricultural land by a foreign person or entity and does USDA have a process to ensure accurate disclosure of the transfer or sale of such lands?
4. Do the current standards for filing under AFIDA ensure that land acquired by a foreign person or entity through a U.S. chartered company or corporation is accurately disclosed as a foreign investment in agricultural land?
5. How, if at all, does the U.S. government use the data on foreign investment in U.S. agricultural land to ensure the land is used for its intended purpose and does not pose a threat to national security?
6. What improvements or policy options, including regarding national security,