WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump says that if he retakes the White House, he will ban Chinese nationals from buying US farmland or owning telecommunications, energy, technology and medical supplies companies.
The 76-year-old Trump released the plan in a nearly 3-minute policy video shared with The Post as he seeks a second non-consecutive term in 2024.
“China is buying up our technology. They’re buying up food supplies. They’re buying up our farmland. They’re buying up our minerals and natural resources. They’re buying up our ports and shipping terminals. And with the help of corrupt influence-peddlers like the Biden crime family, China is even trying to buy up the pillars of the US energy industry,” the 45th president says.
“While some are focused on China’s purchases near power plants and military bases, the fact is we should be very concerned about all Chinese Communist activity in the United States. As I’ve long said, economic security is national security,” Trump continues.
“China does not allow American companies to take over their critical infrastructure and America should not allow China to take over our critical infrastructure … To protect our country, we need to enact aggressive new restrictions on Chinese ownership of any vital infrastructure in the United States, including energy, technology, telecommunications, farmland, natural resources, medical supplies and other strategic national assets.
“We should stop all future Chinese purchases in these essential industries. And we should begin the process of forcing the Chinese to sell any current holdings that put our national security at risk,” the former president goes on. “If we don’t do this, the United States will be owned by China, which would make them very happy. When I’m president, I will ensure that America’s future remains firmly in American hands, just as I did when I was president before. It’ll happen again and our country will be stronger than ever.”
The precise details of Trump’s plan were not spelled out in the video, but the vision broadly continues his September 2020 pledge to “decouple” the US and Chinese economies following the COVID-19 pandemic. President Biden has voiced support for some of that vision, including a reduction in supply-chain dependence on China.
A handful of states already ban or restrict foreign ownership of US farmland, including Hawaii and Idaho, and the idea has strong cross-partisan appeal.
California’s Democrat-held state legislature in August passed a bill to ban “a foreign government from purchasing, acquiring, leasing or holding an interest, as defined, in agricultural land,” but Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.), himself a possible 2024 presidential candidate, vetoed it in September, saying the ban “would create new and arduous responsibilities” for state employees.
Federal legislation authored by Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) — one of just 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for allegedly inciting the 2021 Capitol riot — would specifically ban people associated with the Chinese government from buying US farmland.
As president, Trump waged a tariff-driven trade war against China in a bid to force a major economic pact before reaching a “phase one” détente in early 2020 just ahead of the pandemic.
Trump signed an executive order in August 2020 that threatened to essentially ban the Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok. Although Biden in December banned the app from government devices, it remains incredibly popular among children and young adults — despite concern that Beijing may have easy access to sensitive user information.
Trump’s reference to the Biden family and Chinese energy purchases could apply to two separate Biden family ventures with Chinese government-linked firms.
In 2016, Hunter Biden-cofounded BHR Partners was influential in facilitating a deal in which a Chinese firm bought a Congolese cobalt mine from American and Canadian companies. Cobalt is an important material for making electric vehicle batteries.
Hunter Biden co-founded BHR Partners in 2013 within weeks of joining then-Vice President Biden aboard Air Force Two on an official trip to Beijing, according to the Wall Street Journal. Hunter introduced his dad to BHR CEO Jonathan Li in a hotel lobby and Joe Biden later wrote college recommendation letters for Li’s children.
Online business records indicate that Hunter Biden still co-owns a 10% stake in BHR, which says it manages $2.1 billion in assets, despite his father’s insistence there would be no family-business-related conflicts of interest during his presidency.
In a different Biden family venture, Hunter and his uncle, the president’s younger brother James Biden, earned $4.8 million from CEFC China Energy — an arm of Beijing’s foreign-influence “Belt and Road” initiative — in 2017 and 2018, according to the Washington Post’s review of Hunter Biden laptop documents. At one point, CEFC attempted to invest $40 million dollars in a natural gas project on Louisiana’s Monkey Island.
Joe Biden allegedly was involved with the CEFC partnership. Former Hunter Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski says he met with Joe Biden in May 2017 to discuss the CEFC deal and a May 2017 email from another associate, James Gilliar, says the “big guy” was due a 10% cut. Bobulinski and Gilliar have identified Joe Biden as the “big guy.”
As president, Biden has been weighing the rollback of Trump’s tariffs on Chinese exports, but has not yet done so. US tariffs on Chinese goods currently are about 19.3% — versus about 3% on imports from other countries, according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
Republicans have slammed Biden as too soft on China when it comes to issues such as the illegal export of fentanyl, which killed about 196,000 Americans in 2018-2021 alone.
The Trump campaign shared the China-focused video as it focuses on filmed policy statements rather than raucous campaign rallies in the early months of Trump’s third presidential campaign, as he faces potential competition from younger GOP contenders like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.