Noem wants to bar China from buying agricultural land

If legislation passes, foreign countries would have a tougher time buying agriculture land in...
If legislation passes, foreign countries would have a tougher time buying agriculture land in South Dakota.(KOTA)
Published: Dec. 13, 2022 at 1:23 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Gov. Kristi Noem and two state lawmakers propose legislation to restrict foreign purchases of agricultural land in South Dakota. Noem specifically zeroed in on China.

“With this new process, we will be able to prevent nations who hate us – like Communist China – from buying up our state’s agriculture land,” Noem said in a release. “We cannot allow the Chinese Communist Party to continue to buy up our nation’s food supply, so South Dakota will lead the charge on this vital national security issue.”

The bill would be sponsored by Sen. Erin Tobin (R-Winner) and Rep. Elect Gary Cammack (R-Union Center).

Tobin stated he wants to “protect the security of that food supply for our kids,” and Cammack stated concern about “vital national security resources like Ellsworth Air Force Base. We cannot afford for our enemies to purchase land in South Dakota.”

If approved, the state would set up a board, called the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States – South Dakota. This board would investigate attempted land purchases by foreign interests and recommend approval or denial to the governor.

According to the governor’s release, the jurisdiction of the board would cover transactions on or after July 1, 2023, including:

  • Any transaction of any number of acres – including a land transfer, purchase, grant, devise, descent, or inheritance of agricultural land – involving a “foreign entity” (any foreign person, foreign government, foreign business, or any organization controlled by a foreign person, government, or business).
  • Any lease of agricultural land to a foreign entity for a period of one year or longer.
  • Any transaction previously considered by the federal CFIUS board.

This is the third recent action Noem has taken that targets China. She also signed an executive order barring TikTok (owned by a Chinese company) from being used on state government electronic devices. Seven states followed her lead on this.

See: US lawmakers introduce legislation to ban TikTok

Last week, the governor tasked the South Dakota Investment Council to review state investments to ensure no countries that, according to the release, “hate America, like Communist China.”