Press Release

Foreign Ownership of U.S. Agricultural Land

As Congress debates its economic and national security policy posture toward China, there has been increased scrutiny of Chinese ownership of U.S. agricultural land. In new research, Director of International Economic Policy Tori Smith presents a broad look at the data surrounding private ownership of U.S. farmland.

Key points:

  • The federal government does not restrict foreign ownership of U.S. agricultural land, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture does collect reports of such acquisitions.
  • While several recent studies point to an increase in Chinese-owned agricultural land, much of the conversation does not reflect the context of total private agricultural land ownership or Chinese ownership relative to individuals from other countries.
  • This research finds that roughly 3 percent of this land (in acres) is foreign owned, with less than 1 percent of that slice owned by Chinese nationals.

Read the analysis