WASHINGTON | Last week, the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services advanced a bill supported by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) that strengthens oversight of foreign agricultural purchases. The legislation, the Agricultural Security Risk Review Act introduced by Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK), would add the Secretary of Agriculture as a member of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), an interagency committee that reviews the national security impact of foreign investments in the United States. “Cattle producers have been extremely watchful of foreign purchases of farmland, agricultural technology, and other important inputs. Adding the Secretary of Agriculture to CFIUS would provide a critical voice for American farmers and ranchers and ensure that the federal government does not overlook agriculture’s role in national security,” said NCBA Executive Director of Government Affairs Kent Bacus. “NCBA thanks Rep. Lucas for leading this effort and we appreciate the House Financial Services Committee’s bipartisan support for this bill.” CFIUS is an interagency committee chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury with members from the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Energy, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and Office of Science and Technology Policy. The committee reviews financial and real estate transactions by foreign entities investing in the United States to ensure that these investments do not endanger national security. The committee can recommend that the President of the United States suspend or block investments that may create security concerns. The legislation passed in committee and now goes to the full House of Representatives for consideration.