Senate Overwhelmingly Adds Key Part of Tuberville Legislation to Defense Bill

“We must increase federal oversight of foreign investments in agricultural land, especially from China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran.”

WASHINGTON — Late on Tuesday, the United States Senate adopted Senator Mike Rounds’ Amendment #813 to the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on a 91-7 vote. The amendment would block the purchases of U.S. farmland by China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran and add the Secretary of Agriculture to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

The Rounds Amendment would:

  • Require CFIUS to review:
  • investments “by a foreign person in any unaffiliated United States business that is engaged in agriculture or biotechnology related to agriculture,” and 
  • “the purchase or lease by, or a concession to, a foreign person of private real estate” that is located in the United States, used in agriculture, and more than 320 acres or valued in excess of $5,000,000.  
  • Include the Secretary of Agriculture as a “non-voting, ex-officio” member of CFIUS.
  • Prohibit any transaction that CFIUS determines would “result in control by a covered foreign person of or investment by a covered foreign person in a United States business engaged in agriculture or private real estate used in agriculture.”  The President would be authorized to allow the transaction if the President reports to the congressional committees of jurisdiction that the transaction is vital to U.S. national security.  
  • “Covered foreign person” would include entities that are registered in or organized under the laws of, has a principal place of business in, or has a subsidiary with a principal place of business in China, Russia, Iran, or North Korea. 
  • Covered foreign persons would not include a U.S. citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States.  

This requirement is substantively identical to legislation authored by Coach Tuberville called the Foreign Adversary Risk Management (FARM) Act.

The Rounds Amendment also included language similar to Coach Tuberville’s Protecting America’s Agricultural Land from Foreign Harm Act, which would prohibit the sale of U.S. agricultural land to any individual or entity tied to the governments of Iran, North Korea, China, or Russia. Original cosponsors in the Senate also included U.S. Senators Mike Braun (R-IN), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and John Tester (D-MT).

Senator Tuberville released the following statement after introducing this legislation in March:

“The surge of foreign-owned agricultural land in the U.S. demonstrates the need to keep our top foreign adversaries out of our agricultural supply chains,” said Senator Tuberville.“We must increase federal oversight of foreign investments in agricultural land, especially from China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran. Our food and national security must be prioritized and protected from bad actors. I’m proud to support this legislation to safeguard our agricultural industry and national interests.”


Over the past few years, the United States has experienced a rapid increase in foreign investment in the agricultural sector, particularly from China. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, China holds approximately 383,935 acres of U.S. agricultural land. Growing foreign investment in agriculture and other essential industries, like health care and energy, threaten our country’s national security and ability to survive. Senator Tuberville has long been a vocal critic of foreign ownership of American farmland and other elements of our food supply chain.

The FARM Act is a bipartisan, bicameral bill that would ensure that CFIUS acknowledges the importance of our agricultural industry and supply chains by adding the Secretary of Agriculture as a permanent member of the committee. Currently, CFIUS does not directly consider the needs of the agriculture industry when reviewing foreign investment and ownership in domestic businesses. More information about the FARM Act can be found here.

Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.