By Kim Jarrett (The Heart Sq.)
A number of states have already banned or are contemplating banning overseas possession of farmland from U.S. adversaries similar to China, a development that has its current roots in North Dakota.
Chinese language meals producer Fufeng Group bought 370 acres of land for a corn milling plant in Grand Forks in November 2021.
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By January 2023, the Grand Forks Metropolis Council announced it might deny constructing permits for the plant, killing the mission 12 miles from the Grand Forks Air Pressure Base.
The strain got here from state and federal officers involved concerning the proposed plant’s ties to China and its proximity to the bottom. A report from the Air Pressure that formally known as the acquisition of the land a “risk to nationwide safety” sealed the transaction’s destiny.
According to the U.S. Division of Agriculture, about 40.8 million acres of U.S. farmland is owned by overseas residents, firms or international locations as of 2021. China owned about 384,000 acres of U.S. farmland.
Whereas the Grand Forks plan is lifeless, states’ efforts to stop China and different communist international locations from proudly owning land are ongoing.
North Dakota lawmakers this session handed a bill that forestalls metropolis or county governments from getting into into land offers with overseas adversaries. Different legislators have additionally launched or handed payments coping with overseas possession of agricultural land.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem was one of many first governors to ban the Chinese language-owned app TikTok from state-owned gadgets, however her push to ban the nation and others from buying land was not as profitable.
The state banned aliens from proudly owning greater than 160 acres of land in 1979. Lawmakers needed to ascertain the “Committee on Overseas Funding in the USA – South Dakota,” which might scrutinize all overseas farmland purchases.
Senate Bill 185 did not make it out of the Senate.
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Republicans in Arizona additionally did not move a invoice banning overseas entities from proudly owning land of their state. It handed the Senate however didn’t garner sufficient votes within the Home.
Different states are having extra success with passing related laws.
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed Senate Bill 203 this session that bans land purchases by what it refers to as “overseas adversaries,” outlined as “any overseas authorities or overseas non authorities particular person decided by the U.S. secretary of commerce to have engaged in a long-term sample or critical situations of conduct considerably opposed to the nationwide safety of the USA …”
The governor’s workplace recognized China, North Korea, Russia, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela in a information launch about signing the laws.
In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation in Might that prohibits the sale of farmland and land close to navy bases to the Chinese language Communist Celebration and its brokers. The measure additionally prevents any governmental entity from knowingly getting into into contracts with the CCP, or international locations and entities of concern. The lawyer normal will in a position to carry a civil motion towards any entity in violation and the civil penalty for doing so will probably be twice the quantity that the entity submitted a bid or proposal.
North Carolina representatives handed a invoice that forestalls adversarial overseas governments from buying farmland or property close to navy installations. The laws is within the Senate.
Texas senators handed a invoice that might ban overseas nationals from international locations posing safety threats, together with China, from buying farmland however the measure didn’t get by means of the Home. Gov. Greg Abbott helps the ban and he may add it to the record of things throughout a summer time legislative session he’s anticipated to name.
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The potential of overseas entities proudly owning farmlands isn’t just a Republican problem. State Sen. Melissa Hurtado, D-Sanger, launched a bill in heavily-Democratic California that might monitor overseas possession of farmland and ban overseas purchases in 2024. The invoice was positioned within the Legislature’s suspense file, killing it for this session.
Greater than 45 members of Congress signed on to the “Prohibition of Agricultural Land for the Folks’s Republic of China Act.” The invoice was launched by U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., in 2022 however didn’t make it out of committee. The present bill is in two committees – Overseas Affairs and Agriculture.
The Senate is contemplating a bipartisan bill banning a number of international locations from buying American farmland. The “Selling Agriculture Safeguards and Safety Act” would add the secretary of agriculture to the Committee on Overseas Funding in the USA. The lead sponsors are Sens. John Tester, D-Mont., and Mike Rounds, R-S.D. The invoice is assigned to the Banking, Housing and City Affairs Committee.
Syndicated with permission from The Center Square.