WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a member of the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, and U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), introduced the Farm Credit for Americans Act that would prevent foreign individuals from obtaining credit and financial services through the Farm Credit System (FCS). Currently, certain foreign individuals and entities are eligible to receive credit through this government-sponsored enterprise.
“We created the Farm Credit System to ensure farmers and agriculture workers in Ohio and across the country have access to affordable credit – not to benefit foreign investors and hostile governments,” said Brown. “Foreign governments, especially China, have bought up prime farmland across this country at an alarming rate for decades. This will put in place a clear standard: American taxpayer dollars should not be used as a financing tool for foreign governments to undermine our national security and take our family farms.”
FCS was established in 1916 to provide credit to rural areas when commercial lenders were avoiding farm loans. It is mandated and limited by statute to serve agriculture. In 2021, FCS had a portfolio of roughly $210 billion in farm loans.
Since 1997, Farm Credit Administration (FCA) regulations have allowed FCS associations to extend credit to certain foreign nationals who are not permanent residents of the United States and to foreign-owned entities. Brown and Grassley’s bipartisan Farm Credit for Americans Act would make foreign individuals and entities, as defined by the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act, ineligible for financing through the FCS.