House Ag Committee Examines Threats From China

Market to Market | Clip
Mar 22, 2024 | 3 min

This week, the House Agriculture Committee held hearings over the potential economic threats on rural America by China.


This week, the House Agriculture Committee held hearings over the potential economic threats on rural America by China.

Witnesses focused on the difficulty of protecting intellectual property and safeguarding against cyber attacks while simultaneously working to be a trusted trade partner.

Josh Gackle, American Soybean Association: “The sheer scale of China's demand for soybeans cannot be replaced. In farmer terms, one in every three rows grown in the U.S. is shipped to China to fill demand. Our farmers now face an increasing competition with Brazil and every export market, not just China. The trade war also damaged our reputation as a reliable provider of soybeans and soy products in global markets. The Section 3.1 tariffs and the retaliatory retaliatory trade actions have jeopardized our place in these markets and damaged in-country relationships developed over decades. At times, our customers looked elsewhere for their needs to avoid trade risk or excess duties.”

Rep. Frank Lucas, R, OK: “What is the correct balance between national security while also allowing the international investment in our economy? Let's just cut straight to the chase.”

Nova Daly, Public Policy Consultant: “Well, we have to keep our open investment policy that's been sustained since, I think President Carter on through now. That said, there are serious national security issues that are drawn from foreign investment. And Chinese actors have been interesting in the way that they've found vulnerabilities not only in our laws and the gaps that precede from it, but also in their capabilities to use in a fairly nefariously third party actors to gain entrance and access to places where we have one of the spear needs in terms of our national security.”

Rep. Brad Finstad, R, MN: “Do you believe that food and agriculture sector is adequately prepared for and possesses the ability to respond to a major cyber attack against our key suppliers in the ag industry?

Amb. Kip Tom: “No, we are not. I know we've taken major steps to protect this. From a private sector perspective. I appreciate any involvement that the government can be on this, but we're not doing enough yet today.”

Rep. Tracey Mann, R, KS: “Could China also be conducting espionage operations to acquire the very livestock genetics that American ranchers have spent decades developing?

Nova Daly, Public Policy Consultant: “I absolutely do think this is something that China would do. There's a reason why the the Committee on Foreign Investment, one of the national security priorities, was U.S. biological information, U.S. person, biological information. And if that's something China is gathering for its intelligence, it's certainly because food security for China is imperative to to their survival.”

Rep Jim Costa, D, CA: “How do you create a fair level playing field?”

Nova Daly, Public Policy Consultant: It's it's it's it's difficult and it's multi-faceted. And you just have to take it sector by sector, issue by issue in terms of making it a level playing field with China in terms of we've got to be smart in terms of what we address in China.

Rep Jim Costa, D, CA: “You acknowledge it's not a level playing field?”

Nova Daly, Public Policy Consultant: “It is not a level playing field. Absolutely. The Chinese of our state driven economy, they subsidize where they want to subsidize and they will destroy markets and U.S. production capabilities where they want.”

For Market to Market, I’m David Miller.