Protecting American Soil: A prudent step in troubled times
September 1, 2023 | View PDF
Alabama ranks among the top three states in land owned by foreign interest, a startling fact that places at risk Alabama’s large number of vital military bases and facilities and, by extension, our national security. Our soil in the wrong hands can function as a base for spy operations, a safe haven for terrorist activities just to mention a few potential consequences. This unsettling reality has not gone unnoticed. Concerned citizen and Lafayette native Greg Lowery, whose family's third-generation farm became a target of Chinese interests took action. His unsettling experience with this foreign adversary led him to the Alabama Legislature. The result was the Property Protection Act sponsored by House Majority leader Scott Stadthagen.
The Act gained the attention of Alabama Senator Katie Britt who weighed in on the matter, stating, "The ownership of American land by foreign entities is not just a state concern but a national one. The steps taken by Alabama must be seen as a beacon for other states to follow. We must remain vigilant and ensure that our farmland and strategic assets are kept in hands that prioritize American interests."
The asymmetry in land ownership policies between the United States and countries like China, where Americans cannot own land, adds another layer of complexity to the issue.
Stadthagen's advocacy for the Property Protection Act (PPA) is a significant move. It passed the Alabama House and Senate and was signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey. The law bars hostile foreign governments, including China, North Korea, Iran, and Russia, from purchasing land in Alabama.
The PPA is a symbol of a nation faced with a shifting geopolitical landscape. It strikes a balance between safeguarding domestic interests and avoiding unnecessary provocation.
China's confrontational actions and posturing have only intensified the debate over foreign ownership of American soil. "This is not just about protecting our state. This is about protecting our nation," Stadthagen has emphasized.
By enacting the PPA, Alabama has set a precedent that other states must consider following. Thoughtful measures like this are both prudent and necessary at a time when international relations are in the forefront.
The Chinese Communist Party's aggressive rhetoric and tactics such as confronting our naval ships in international waters serves as a reminder that vigilance is required. By taking measured steps to secure our land, we can send a clear message without resorting to broad bans.
The Property Protection Act, as those on the left naively proclaim, is not about fear; it's about foresight. It's about integrity, not isolation. In our interconnected global economy, we must be vigilant and judicious, protecting our national interests while maintaining our values.
In a world fraught with complexity, the PPA serves as a testament to the wisdom of careful legislation. It's a step forward in ensuring that our soil remains, first and foremost, American.
The only thing that China understands is strong, concise actions, something that the previous U.S. administration clearly demonstrated. The implementation of tariffs in response to China's unfair trade practices was a firm stance that highlighted the administration's resolve. These measures were aimed at addressing issues like intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, and dumping of their products into our markets. The PPA is another strong action China understands.
With voices like Senator Britt's and Representative Stadthagen guiding the conversation and concrete steps like the PPA, Alabama is leading the way in this crucial aspect of national security. Other states and the federal government would do well to heed the lessons learned here in our great state.