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Rubio, Cramer, Hoeven Call for National Security Review of Fufeng Farmland Purchase

Jul 14, 2022 | Press Releases

National security concerns are growing over Chinese food manufacturer Fufeng Group’s purchase of roughly 370 acres of land near the Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota. 

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), and John Hoeven (R-ND) are requesting the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) review the purchase. 

  • “This property is approximately 12 miles from Grand Forks Air Force Base, which has led to concern that Fufeng operations could provide cover for PRC surveillance or interference with the missions located at that installation, given Fufeng Group’s reported ties to the Chinese Communist Party.” 

 
Looking forward … Rubio, who is Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, is pushing legislation to require a CFIUS review of any effort by Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea to buy U.S. land near military installations.
 
The full text of the letter is below. 
 
Dear Secretary Yellen and Secretary Austin:
 
We request that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) conduct a review of Chinese food manufacturer Fufeng Group’s recent purchase of roughly 370 acres of land near Grand Forks, North Dakota. Public reports suggest that CFIUS has expressed interest in this transaction and that the City of Grand Forks has requested the company make a voluntary filing with CFIUS. We believe that a full CFIUS review would clarify whether the purchase of this land, by Fufeng Group, carries national security implications.
 
In November 2021, the City of Grand Forks announced that Fufeng Group had selected the municipality as the location for its new wet corn mill. The Chinese company, known for its monosodium glutamate production within the People’s Republic of China (PRC), purchased 370 acres in Grand Forks’ agribusiness park. This property is approximately 12 miles from Grand Forks Air Force Base, which has led to concern that Fufeng operations could provide cover for PRC surveillance or interference with the missions located at that installation, given Fufeng Group’s reported ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
 
We note that local officials are seeking input from federal authorities about any national security implications of this project. Local officials have discussed the matter with the U.S. Air Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. According to published reports, they also have encouraged Fufeng to make a voluntary CFIUS filing. 
 
PRC investments in the United States demand scrutiny. We therefore urge you, through CFIUS, to determine whether this project has national security implications and inform us when such a review is completed.
 
Sincerely,