West Virginia Press Association
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act (AFIDA) Improvements Act of 2024, bipartisan legislation to strengthen reporting and enforcement of foreign investment in American farmland and agribusiness. The bill would aid ongoing efforts to prevent foreign adversaries, including China, from getting a foothold on U.S. soil by improving tracking and data systems to make sure bad actors cannot acquire agricultural land.
“I’m proud to introduce the bipartisan AFIDA Improvements Act of 2024, which would increase oversight of foreign investment in American farmland,” said Senator Manchin. “We must have transparency and accountability in disclosing foreign investments to protect our farmers and producers in West Virginia and across the country from bad actors looking to buy up our farmland. I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this commonsense legislation and I will continue working to get it across the finish line.”
The AFIDA Improvements Act of 2024 would:
- Establish CFIUS data sharing by implementing a process to provide detailed and timely AFIDA transaction data relevant to foreign investments in agricultural land to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) member agencies, including the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Such information could include whether a party has filed a disclosure, who filed it, and when it was filed.
- Update the AFIDA Handbook to clarify and provide specific instructions to headquarters and county employees for completing AFIDA responsibilities, including reviewing the accuracy of forms and identifying missing information.
- Satisfy the requirements of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 by creating an AFIDA online submission system and public database within its expected budget. If the analysis shows that the agency would be unable to meet the requirements of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, USDA should report the results to Congress and recommend appropriate legislative changes.
- Improve data verification and monitoring of collected AFIDA data.
- Identify suspected non-filers through data mining activities that compare AFIDA data to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) program data.
- Collect data from every foreign investor to ensure AFIDA reporting is complete, such as incorporating country information from additional foreign persons beyond the primary investor.
Senator Manchin was joined by Senators Mike Braun (R-IN), John Tester (D-MT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Katie Britt (R-AL), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Joni Ernst (R-IA), John Fetterman (D-PA), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Todd Young (R-IN).