Denver — Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet joined U.S. Senators James Lankford (R-Okla.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) to introduce the bipartisan Security and Oversight of International Landholdings (SOIL) Act to provide oversight and transparency over purchases of American agricultural land that threaten our national security.
“For too long, Washington has allowed foreign adversaries like China and Russia to buy up American farmland and its precious water resources while our family farmers and our economies became collateral damage. For the sake of American growers, farmers, and ranchers, we need to modernize and strengthen our tools to evaluate the risk of these foreign purchases on our supply chains and our national security,” said Bennet.
As of 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Colorado ranks third in the country with the most foreign-owned agricultural acreage, behind only Texas and Maine. There are 1.9 million acres of foreign-owned agricultural land in Colorado.
The bill requires the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to review agricultural land acquisition deals from non-market economies and countries that pose a national security risk to the United States, as well as consult the Secretary of Agriculture on such deals. The legislation also prohibits federal assistance for certain foreign-held real estate holdings, broadens disclosure requirements for land purchases made by foreign entities and their intended uses, and increases USDA reporting on land acquisitions by China and Russia.