Pennsylvania bills would focus on preventing foreign ownership of farmland, infrastructure

(WHTM)– Pennsylvania farmland could be further protected from becoming property for foreign actors if a proposed bill is passed.

State Rep. Barbara Gleim (R) proposed legislation that would expand The Agricultural Land Acquisition by Aliens Law (Act 39 of 1980).

“As of December 31, 2022, more than 400,000 acres of farmland in the Commonwealth is foreign owned, which amounts to 2.3% of the privately held agricultural land,” Gleim said. “While this is a relatively low figure in comparison to other states, it is an increase of more than 50,000 acres from the previous year.”

Currently, The Agricultural Land Acquisition by Aliens Law prohibits aliens who are not United States residents and foreign governments from purchasing more than 100 acres of farmland in Pennsylvania.

According to the bill, it would expand the law to apply to foreign principals meaning farmland would be protected from “officials of countries of concern, political parties of countries of concern business entities organized under the laws of countries of concern, individuals domiciled in a country of concern and not a lawful citizen or permanent resident of the United States, and business entities with a controlling interest owned by foreign principals.”

Another bill in the package announced this week would set up a process for “reviewing the risk to critical infrastructure from foreign purchase of critical infrastructure assets and adjacent land.”

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