(The Center Square) – Foreign entities will no longer be allowed to purchase or lease land in Montana beginning later this year.
Gov. Greg Gianforte signed Senate Bill 203 on Thursday that the bans land purchases by what it refers to as "foreign adversaries," defined as "any foreign government or foreign non government person determined by the U.S. secretary of commerce to have engaged in a long-term pattern or serious instances of conduct significantly adverse to the national security of the United States ..."
The governor’s office identified China, North Korea, Russia, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela in a news release about signing the legislation.
"Montana will not stand idly by as foreign adversaries buy up our farmland, harvest private data, and spy on Americans,” Gianforte said. “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," the governor added. "If the federal government won’t protect America from Communist China and hostile adversaries, Montana will."
Republican-led states such as Louisiana and Texas, as well as some Republicans in Congress, are pushing similar proposals to bar foreign interest from purchasing farmland in the U.S.