In mid-October, Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin enforced a new state law that bans entities from several countries including China, from owning agricultural land in the state.
His first target, Syngenta Seeds, was told to sell their farmland in Craighead County, and Thursday (Nov. 9) Griffin announced the Chinese state-owned enterprise paid a $280,000 civil penalty.
“Because Syngenta is foreign owned – ultimately by the Chinese Communist Party – it was required to report its ownership of agricultural land to the Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. It failed to timely do so – filing the report well after the deadline.
“Now Syngenta must divest itself of the land it owns in Craighead County. This serves as a warning to all other Chinese state-owned companies operating in Arkansas – I am investigating these types of properties throughout the state and will exercise all powers afforded to my office under the law. As a 27-year Army officer, I can state unequivocally that our concerns over Chinese interests in America’s strategic assets are well-founded and demand action.”
The civil penalty of $280,000 is 25% of the fair market value of the 160 acres in Craighead County that Syngenta must divest.