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My work to protect our country from China

China poses the greatest threat to America’s economic and national security. Chinese spy balloons have unlawfully infiltrated our sovereign airspace to spy on our military bases; Chinese fentanyl manufacturers have shipped tens of thousands of pounds of fentanyl to Mexico which then flows over our open border; Chinese politicians have intentionally stonewalled investigations into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic; and Chinese spies collect private, technological, and commercial data that costs the American economy billions of dollars and leaves our families vulnerable to identity fraud and other crimes.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Chinese purchases of American farmland also increased tenfold between 2009 and 2016 alone, underscoring the urgent need to defend our farmland from our foreign adversaries. Given the many threats our nation faces, we must combat Chinese aggression with brute American strength.

Since I was first elected to serve the good people of Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, I have been the strongest voice in Congress against China. I have repeatedly called on my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to seriously consider the threat that China not only represents to our country, but also the world. We cannot underestimate China’s intentions and ability to destabilize our economy and unleash the full force of its military on our nation and our allies. The second that we take our eye off China is when they knock us to the ground when we least expect it. We can’t let that happen.

That’s why, this Congress, I have supported legislation to strengthen our position against China, protect our farmers and businesses from China’s unfair and unlawful anti-competitive practices, and keep our economy the strongest and most innovative in the world.

In one of my first acts of the 118th Congress, I voted to establish the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party. Since its creation, this committee has exposed the proliferation of Chinese cyberattacks on U.S. computer systems, introduced legislation to prevent biotech companies with ties to our foreign adversaries from using American taxpayer dollars, and sounded the alarm over Chinese influence at our colleges and universities. I have also had the unique opportunity to work directly with the committee. Alongside the chairman of the Select Committee, I introduced the Protecting U.S. Farmland and Sensitive Sites From Foreign Adversaries Act, which would give the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) greater jurisdiction over land purchases and establish guardrails against land purchases by foreign adversaries near military installations, intelligence facilities, Department of Energy national laboratories, and other sensitive locations.

Last year, I also introduced legislation — the Defend America’s Rural Energy Act — to ban China from buying American farmland suitable for American energy production, including homegrown Iowa ethanol and biodiesel. My bill passed the House last March by a vote of 407-26 and now awaits consideration by the U.S. Senate. Just the other day, I took to the House floor to call on Senate Democrats to pass this important legislation and urged President Biden to sign it into law because American farmland belongs to American farmers — not our foreign enemies.

I have also voted to hold China accountable for unlawfully manipulating its currency and putting American farmers and businesses at a competitive disadvantage in global markets and, following reports that the Biden administration sold American oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to China, I voted to ban oil sales from our SPR to China.

Furthermore, I have condemned China’s illegal deployment of spy balloons, supported funding for military exercises with our allies in the Pacific to counter China’s growing aggression, and introduced legislation to double funding for agricultural research in the United States so that we can compete with China and its roughly $10 billion investment in its own agricultural research and development.

The United States is the strongest superpower the world has ever known. Our businesses remain at the cutting edge of innovation, our military is the most feared fighting force on the planet, and our farmers feed and fuel our country and the world. By banning China from buying our farmland, protecting our infrastructure from foreign cyberattacks, and keeping our oil safe from our adversaries, we will keep China at bay and our nation strong.

U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Hull, represents Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District.

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