The Marshall County Post

Follow Us On:

Successfully keeping Chinese and other sanctioned foreign entities from owning land in Tennessee

Posted on Sunday, December 17, 2023 at 8:00 am

Senate – State of Tennessee

Legislative Update from Senator Joey Hensley, MD

Successfully keeping Chinese and other sanctioned foreign entities from owning land in Tennessee

In an effort to curb foreign influence of potential bad actors in the state of Tennessee, in the General Assembly we passed a law this year that prevents non-resident aliens,  foreign governments, businesses and non-citizens from countries on the U.S Department of Treasury’s sanctions list as well as China from purchasing or acquiring real estate in Tennessee. There are currently 38 countries on the sanctions list. In the new law, China was singled out to ensure Chinese foreign nationals are prohibited from purchasing land.

Reassuringly, as reported by the Tennessean, it is unlikely that any foreign sanctioned individuals, businesses or entities own property in the state. The law we passed requires sanctioned foreign individuals or entities to register their property with the Tennessee Secretary of State. So far, no one has, which means that hopefully there are none.

A 2021 registry maintained by the U.S. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) of real estate and agricultural land owned by foreign investors shows that no foreign investors from sanctioned countries own land in our state. And while China owns 380,000 acres of land in the United States, it owns no land in Tennessee, according to recent reports.

The USDA report sheds more light on foreign owned land within our state. According to the report a total of 457,441 acres of land in Tennessee is owned by foreign entities, with the largest share coming from businesses and individuals based in the Netherlands, which hold 174,961 acres in our state. Other foreign entities and individuals who hold land in Tennessee include 62,256 acres owned by British, 15,145 acres owned by Canadians, 9,034 owned by Germans, and 1,569 owned by Italians.

With this new law, we hope to curb the influence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Tennessee. The CCP poses a major security threat not just to our state but also our country.

In the General Assembly this year we passed a couple other laws that target Chinese influence in our state. Including a law that bans the Chinese company TikTok from being accessed on internet services at public higher education institutions in our state as well as all other state internet services. Additionally, we passed legislation that prohibits our police departments from purchasing drone equipment from Chinese companies.

Unlike US companies, Chinese companies are required to share data with the Chinese Communist Party government, making Chinese technology companies that can monitor US Citizens particularly vulnerable and concerning.

We will continue to monitor foreign land ownership in our state and take whatever action appropriate to ensure the security of our home state.

You may contact Senator Hensley at 425 Rep. John Lewis Way N., Suite 742, Nashville, TN 37243 615-741-3100.