On Tuesday, Republican Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders told a farm company with ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to give up the land it owned in the state. Arkansas is the first state in the country to make a Chinese government-owned company sell land.
Republican Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin will enforce State Act 636, which bans foreign entities from certain countries seen as being against U.S. national interests. This law will be used against Syngenta, a Swiss company that makes seeds, insecticides, and herbicides and is a subsidiary of the Chinese government-owned China National Chemical Corporation.
Syngenta owns or rents about 1,500 acres of land in the United States. The company mainly uses this land to test and develop products for sale in the United States to follow environmental rules.
Sanders said we can’t trust people who swear loyalty to a foreign power that is at odds with us.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website says that all pesticides used in the U.S. must first be listed with the EPA. According to the EPA’s Product Performance Test Guidelines, a pesticide must usually be used on small areas of land in the United States to show that it meets the EPA’s environmental guidelines as part of the registration process.
This means the company may be unable to use that land to test its goods.
According to Reuters, Sanders’ and Griffin’s order implies that the company must sell 160 acres of land in Arkansas.
Election Day Semafor says that many other states run by Republicans have thought about passing similar laws. In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis and other Republicans in the state legislature passed a bill that makes it illegal for Chinese citizens to buy certain land and property.
In April 2021, the China National Chemical Corporation combined with Sinochem, a Chinese state-owned company. Many Republicans in the House said this made it possible for the company and Syngenta to go through CFIUS review again.
Both Chinese state-owned companies are on a list of companies that are thought to help and fund the CCP’s military and intelligence activities.