Republican Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte will ban the sale or lease of agricultural land, critical infrastructure, or homes surrounding military assets to foreign adversaries in the state, the Daily Caller has learned first.
Gianforte will sign Senate Bill 203 Thursday afternoon, and the ban will go into effect October 1, 2023.
Lawmakers across the U.S. have sounded the alarm on this issue when Chinese real estate buyers began purchasing land near U.S. military bases. The Chinese also became the biggest foreign land buyers in the U.S. after purchasing around $6.1 billion in real estate in 2021.
According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Chinese ownership of U.S. farmland increased more than twentyfold in a decade, rising from $81 million in 2010 to $1.8 billion in 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Reps. Stefanik, Crawford Introduce Bill To Protect U.S. Agricultural Land From Foreign Adversaries)
“Montana will not stand idly by as foreign adversaries buy up our farmland, harvest private data, and spy on Americans,” Gianforte told the Caller. “Today, we’re doing what the Biden administration won’t to defend our economic security, food security, and national security assets.”
“From the spy balloon to CCP-linked companies buying American farmland to the Chinese Communist Party spying on Americans through TikTok, now is the time for bold, decisive action to defend our national interests. If the federal government won’t protect America from Communist China and hostile adversaries, Montana will,” Gianforte added.
READ THE BILL HERE:
(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers
This has been Gianforte’s latest on cracking down on foreign adversaries. The Montana governor banned the use of TikTok on state equipment and for state business in December of 2022. In late April, Gianforte also offered amendments to a bill to ban TikTok in Montana to apply to all apps that provide data to foreign adversaries. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Montana Gov. Gianforte Signs Legislation To Ban Sanctuary Cities In The State)
At a September press conference, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby dodged a reporter’s question about foreign buyers purchasing land around military installations.
“I’m wondering, given the fact that known adversaries — in [this] case China — foreign buyers are buying out U.S. real estate, in some cases farms around military installations, is this on the [Biden] administration’s radar and what is being done, perhaps to study this, or to protect Americans from making sure that homes are made affordable and so on?” the reporter asked. (RELATED: Kirby Dodges Reporter’s Question On Foreign Buyers Purchasing Land Around Military Installations)
“I’m probably not the right person to ask about homeownership here in the United States,” Kirby said in response.
“This isn’t about homeownership. This is about buying up land around military installations. Is that a concern to this administration?” the reporter asked. “I sent this to your office last week. You’ve had a week to look at this, including the article.”
Gianforte is likely to sign the bill around 3:30 pm ET, the Caller is told.