Georgia Senate Passes Bill Banning Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land

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Georgia’s agricultural and national security interests are set to receive added protection as Senate Bill 420 awaits Governor Brian P. Kemp’s signature to become law. Sponsored by Senator Jason Anavitarte (R–Dallas), the legislation aims to prevent foreign adversaries from owning agricultural land or land within a 10-mile radius of military bases, installations, or airports in Georgia.

Senator Anavitarte emphasized the importance of the legislation, citing concerns about foreign interference in national security. He referenced instances like the deployment of spy balloons over military installations, underscoring the need for measures to safeguard against such threats.

The bill, crafted in response to a 2021 Department of Agriculture report revealing increased Chinese ownership of American agricultural land, aims to address concerns about foreign control over critical assets. An illustrative example from 2022 highlighted Chinese attempts to purchase land near a military base in North Dakota.

SB 420 includes provisions to comply with federal housing regulations and establishes timeframes for nonresident aliens to divest agricultural properties they currently own or may acquire in the future. The exemptions in the bill aim to protect primary residences while prioritizing homeland security and the stability of Georgia’s agricultural sector.

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