Washington: China’s aim to address its food security challenges could put the US, as the world’s leading producer in agriculture, in Beijing’s way, according to an independent agency of the US government.
The report released by US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), reviews China’s food security challenges and how these vulnerabilities drive interest in US-China agricultural relations. According to the USCC, China’s efforts to strengthen its agriculture sector and food security, sometimes through illicit means, could prove to be a risk to US economic and national security.
In 2021, China imported more than 30 million metric tons of corn, used mainly for feed, from the United States, a substantial increase from the less than 5 million metric tons of corn in 2019.
But as demands grow on its agricultural production, China will address this challenge through policy, technology, and economic activities.
“For example, Chinese companies’ acquisition of hog herds in the United States may save China money and enhance its domestic capacity; however, this could also reduce China’s need for U.S.-sourced production and redistribute the environmental effects of
hog waste to US communities,” the USCC report said.
“If further consolidations and Chinese investments in U.S. agricultural assets take place, China may have undue leverage over US supply chains. China’s access to US agricultural IP may also erode U.S. competitiveness in agriculture technology that supports food production,” it added.
According to the report, China’s illicit acquisitions of GM seeds provide a jumpstart to China’s own development of such seeds, deprive US companies of revenue, and offer an opportunity to discover vulnerabilities in US crops.
This report also reviews China’s food security challenges and how these vulnerabilities drive interest in US-China agricultural relations.
“Specifically, it evaluates the motivations behind China’s agricultural investments, including challenges to food production and relevant CCP efforts to reduce import reliance, conserve farmland, and modernize agricultural technologies.
It then examines the main areas of Chinese investment in the United States, including land, livestock, grains, and relevant infrastructure, like agricultural equipment and technology,” the report said.
Finally, the report presents considerations for lawmakers regarding further Chinese integration in the US agriculture