Entities tied to foreign adversaries and nations deemed hostile to the United States would be barred from owning farmland in New York state under a proposal released Thursday by Democratic state Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara.
The measure is being proposed amid heightened tensions internationally with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as deteriorating relations between China and the U.S.
Under the proposal, entities that are owned by China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Venezuela would be banned from owning agriculture lands in New York as well as any individual or country deemed by the U.S. secretary of commerce to pose a threat to the nation's security or entities in which a foreign adversary has a controlling interest in.
The bill would also require the state Department of Agriculture and Markets to develop a report detailing the total amount of farmland in New York that is under foreign ownership as well as the change from prior years and the purpose of using the land.
“In the midst of national security concerns related to spying, it is important that the United States not allow foreign adversaries like the Chinese government to continue purchasing large amounts of agricultural land,” Santabarbara said. “Now more than ever we must do all we can to protect our food supply chains here in the United States. This bill would ensure that going forward no agricultural land in New York State can be purchased by foreign advisories that pose a threat to national security.”
There are about 756,000 acres of farmland held by foreign entities in New York, according to federal records.