Missouri Bans China-Owned Agricultural Land Near Critical Military Facilities
January 2, 2024
Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced today, at the State Capitol press conference, the issuance of Executive Order 24-01. The order prohibits individuals and businesses from nations identified as foreign adversaries from acquiring agricultural land within a 10-mile radius of critical military facilities in the State of Missouri.
Governor Parson, joined by Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe, Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Chris Chinn, Missouri Department of Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten, and Missouri National Guard Adjutant General Levon Cumpton, emphasized the need for safeguarding military and intelligence assets, addressing security concerns, and providing reassurance to Missourians.
Expressing concerns about foreign ownership, particularly from China, Governor Parson stated, "We are enacting this order to protect our military and intelligence resources, mitigate security threats to the state, and offer peace of mind to the people of Missouri. Prudent measures must be taken concerning China and other foreign adversaries to ensure the safety of Missourians and our security infrastructure."
Lt. Governor Kehoe commended Governor Parson for this protective measure, stressing the importance of defending Missouri and critical infrastructure against hostile foreign entities while maintaining strong ties with international allies and economic partners. He specifically highlighted China as the most hostile foreign adversary.
Executive Order 24-01 prohibits citizens, residents, or businesses from foreign adversaries listed in 15 C.F.R § 7.4 from owning or acquiring Missouri agricultural land within 10 miles of critical military facilities. Currently identified foreign adversaries include China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Venezuela.
The term "critical military facilities" encompasses all staffed military facilities in Missouri, and the order does not impact existing landowners. Foreign agricultural land purchases, currently capped at one percent by state statute (Section 442.571, RSMo), now face more stringent requirements, necessitating approval from the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) and disclosure of specific information before acquisition.
Governor Parson pledged additional funding in the upcoming Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 supplemental budget and FY 2025 budget to equip MDA with the resources and personnel required for enforcement. He assured that the order does not affect Missouri's economic relationships with valued foreign allies, such as Israel, Sweden, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan.
Highlighting Missouri's open business environment, Governor Parson affirmed, "We believe this order strikes a balance, adequately safeguarding Missouri's security interests without penalizing our allies. It ensures protection against potential threats while maintaining economic partnerships and upholding the principles of legal immigration."
In a significant move in October of 2023, Arkansas issued a directive compelling Chinese-owned Syngenta Seeds and its subsidiary to divest their state land holdings. The companies were fined $280,000 for delayed paperwork submission. This development amplifies the ongoing national initiative to curb Chinese influence in American agriculture, with Congress actively involved in regulatory efforts.
Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders emphasized the crucial nature of this measure. She highlighted the advanced technology in seeds and voiced concerns about potential knowledge transfer to China. The Governor also raised alarms about ChemChina's involvement, listed by the Department of Defense as a direct security threat.
Arkansas's decisive action underscores its dedication to protecting agricultural assets and aligns with the broader national goal of securing American agriculture against foreign control and potential security threats.
To view Missouri's Executive Order 24-01, click here or see attachment. Executive Order 24-01 will stand in effect until otherwise rescinded.
Source: Western Ag Network
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