H. R. 840
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
February 6, 2023
Mrs. Miller of Illinois introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs
To prohibit the purchase of public or private real estate located in the United States by foreign persons, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Saving American Farms from Adversaries Act.
Congress finds the following:
Foreign investment in United States farmland has tripled during the past 10 years.
Foreign companies and individuals have purchased 853,813 acres of agricultural land in Illinois. The purchases are worth approximately $6.3 billion.
Roughly 47 percent of rural renters pay a third or more of their income in rent each month. The Federal Government has done nothing to help rural Americans deal with the rising costs in housing.
Chinese nationals have led foreign investments in homes in the United States for the past seven years. The Chinese Communist Party is attempting to buy land in the United States, with an emphasis on farmland to gain strategic leverage over the United States.
Foreign investors now account for almost one-third of institutional investment in single-family rental homes in the United States. This increases the price and makes it more difficult for Americans to purchase a home.
Increased foreign investment in Washington, DC, and other urban areas has led to a rise in gentrification, pushing many long-time residents out of their homes, including some of our most vulnerable and poor communities.
Foreigners have been abusing the EB–5 visa system, which allows foreign nationals to obtain green cards if they invest in specific business ventures. The rules to acquire an EB–5 visa should be made more stringent.
Current United States laws are designed in a way that makes it more profitable for foreign investors to invest in property in the United States than their country of origin.
The Foreign Investment Risk Act of 2018 strengthened the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) by among other measures giving it more jurisdiction over real estate transactions. Specifically, CFIUS now has jurisdiction to review purchases and leases of real estate by foreign nationals regardless of whether the transactions involve United States businesses. More action is still needed to make the rules of CFIUS more strict.
With each additional land purchase made by a foreign national or foreign entity, American sovereignty is further eroded.
Prohibition on purchase of public or private real estate located in the United States by foreign persons
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, for the 5-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall take such actions as may be necessary to prohibit the purchase of public or private real estate located in the United States by any foreign person.
Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to Congress a report that—
details the history of purchases of public and private real estate located in the United States by foreign persons;
provides more information on the percentage of real estate located in the United States that is owned by foreign persons; and
offers recommendations to make it easier for United States citizens and harder for foreign persons to purchase real estate located in the United States, including farmland.
The report required by paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may contain a classified annex if necessary.
In this Act:
any foreign national, foreign government, or foreign entity; or
any entity over which control is exercised or exercisable by a foreign national, foreign government, or foreign entity; and
includes a corporation, partnership, or other association—
created under the laws of a foreign country; and
substantially beneficially owned by nationals of that foreign country or any other foreign country.
United States means the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Guam, the United States Virgin Islands, and any other territory or possession of the United States.