A Chinese-owned seed producer must sell its 160 acres of farmland in Arkansas within the next two years. The states Law 636The recently enacted ban barred foreign parties from owning land in the state. China is considered a banned party.
In its first enforcement of the new law, Arkansas is forcing China’s Syngenta, the parent company of Northrop King Seed Co., to divest its acres of farmland in Craighead County. While the seed producer has owned the land for over 30 years, the company was acquired by China National Chemical Corp. in 2017. accepted. The US Department of Defense lists the company as Threat to national securityThe New York Post reported.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders declared, “Seeds are technology.” She explained that bad actors could use knowledge of America’s agricultural practices to their advantage, the Post reported.
“Chinese-owned state corporations are filtering this technology back to their homeland, stealing American research and encouraging our enemies to target American farms,” Sanders said. “This is a clear threat to our national security and our farmers.”
During the press conference, Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin said, “The idea that the Chinese government would go after non-military assets is exactly what it has proven to be over the last several decades.”
Griffin said Syngenta missed a June deadline to report its foreign relationships. As a result, the seed producer will be fined a maximum of $280,000. If the company doesn’t pay the fine within 30 days, the state could strip it of ownership of the farmland, Griffin said.
According to Saswato Das, a Syngenta spokesman, the land in Arkansas “will be used primarily for research and project development for the U.S. market.” He added that Craighead County employees are Americans “who care deeply about serving Arkansas farmers.”
Das noted that U.S. federal officials had conducted reviews of the company and that Chinese leaders never dictated its actions.
“The order for Syngenta to divest itself of 160 acres of agricultural land in Craighead County that it has owned since 1988 is a short-sighted action that fails to take into account the impact of such action, whether intended or not, on the U.S. agricultural economy. “Market,” he explained. “Syngenta’s work in the U.S. – including in Arkansas – continues to benefit American farmers, strengthen American agriculture and make the U.S. a more innovative and competitive participant in the global agricultural market.”
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