Gov. Noem lays out South Dakota’s blueprint to combat China’s influence

WASHINGTON, D.C. —One day after the South Dakota Senate’s Agriculture Committee approved a measure giving the state control over the sale of agricultural land to foreign entities, Governor Kristi Noem was in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, to talk about what she calls the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party.

Noem AfpiSpeaking to the America First Policy Institute, Noem outlined her blueprint for a state-level response to that threat.

The first step — already taken — was to ban Tik Tok on devices owned by the South Dakota government, including cell phones, tablets, and computers.

She signed an executive order banning state governments from doing business with telecommunications companies with ties to China, North Korea, Iran, Russia, Cuba, and Venezuela.

She reiterated her position that maintaining control of the food supply is a national security issue.

“I have consistently been ringing the alarm bell about what the Chinese Communist Party is doing,” said Noem. “For years, they’ve been buying up our chemical companies and fertilizer companies. They’ve been purchasing our food processing companies – in fact, they now own the largest pork production facility in my state. Today, they’re trying to buy up our land.

“The Chinese Communist Party knows that if they control our food supply, then they will control the United States of America. Just look at how difficult it was to even find food at different times during this pandemic. Imagine if the Communist Chinese decided to intentionally disrupt our food supply. Imagine the damage they could do – the fear parents would feel if they couldn’t feed their children – the control they would have over the US. They will be able to do it if we don’t take action to stop them.

“This is a national security issue.”

In a discussion after her remarks, the governor acknowledged that her foreign land purchase bill does not have support from ag-industry advocacy groups, but expressed hope that legislators will see the bill through.

And talking to all them about what a bill might look like or solutions that they might have, most of my ag organizations came out not willing to work with us on a bill,” said Noem. “I think you guys all know that human nature is status quo is easier, right? So I think that’s where a lot of them landed.

“And in continuing to work with them and ask them what kind of solutions they had, they didn’t bring us back any solutions. And so we brought this bill with something that we knew would have the capacity to work. And they still have some questions about it, but I would say in South Dakota, our largest industry is agriculture. We do rely on foreign trade. I think they’re concerned that China would punish us by not buying our soybeans, would punish us by not buying our commodities.

“That’s our problem, that, that in South Dakota, they don’t want to be punished, but they don’t recognize the way that we get the best respect and the best economic value from anything that happens with another country is that we show strength, and we stand by our values and our principles. Although they may not always come on board — agriculture is our largest industry; it’s eight times larger than our next biggest industry — so that’s how big of a presence it has.

“Although I’m very proud of the fact that when we went up and talked about this bill in South Dakota in the first committee hearing that we had, we talked about the national security threat that we have, the responsibility that we have as a state by hosting Ellsworth Air Force Base, the responsibility we have as a people because the B-21 will be in South Dakota, that we have to do the things right and make sure that it’s protected.

“The bill came out of the first committee hearing yesterday, 7 to 0.”

Governor Noem will deliver another address in Washington tomorrow, speaking to the libertarian CATO Institute at an event titled “Government and Healthcare – A Dangerous Policy Cocktail.”

Categories: Politics & Elections, South Dakota News