Governor Mike Parson (R-Mo.) announced an executive order on Tuesday that will prevent American foreign adversaries from purchasing agricultural land located near United States military facilities in Missouri.
The Republican governor’s executive order will prohibit Chinese, Russian, Iranian, North Korean, Cuban, and Venezuelan entities from buying agricultural land inside a 10-mile radius of U.S. military bases in Missouri.
“With heightened concerns regarding ownership of Missouri farm land by foreign adversaries, especially China, we are signing this order to safeguard our military and intelligence assets, prevent security threats to our state, and give Missourians greater peace of mind,” Parson said in a press release. “When it comes to China and other foreign adversaries, we must take commonsense precautions that protect Missourians and our security resources.”
Parson added, “I further declare that no Missouri agricultural land shall be acquired or owned by an alien or foreign business who is a citizen, resident, or incorporated under the laws of a foreign adversary.”
The governor’s press release explained that the new executive order does not impact any existing landowners. According to The Associated Press, Chinese entities currently own roughly 42,596 acres of agricultural land in the state of Missouri.
According to the Office of Military Advocate state of Missouri, some of the major U.S. military facilities in the state include Fort Leonard Wood, Whiteman Air Force Base, and Rosecrans Air National Guard Base.
The executive order states, “Currently, foreign agricultural land purchases are capped at one percent of the total agricultural land across the state.” However, the governor’s order will now enforce “more stringent requirements for these land purchases and requires approval from the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) prior to any foreign acquisitions of agricultural land.”
Parson emphasized during a press conference that the new executive order will not have an impact on Missouri’s partnerships with allies such as Israel, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Japan, and Germany. According to the Republican governor’s press release, foreign investment in the state over the past five years has totaled roughly $19 billion and supported almost 150,000 jobs in Missouri.
“Missouri must remain open for business to our allies,” Parson added. “As such, we believe this order, with the authority we have, sufficiently protects Missouri’s security interests from potential bad actors while not punishing our allies for being good economic partners or upstanding individuals fleeing oppression and coming to our nation legally in search of a better life.”
According to The Daily Wire, other states, such as Florida and Arkansas, have taken similar steps to prevent China from purchasing U.S. agricultural land.