Ban foreign entities from buying Washington forest and farmland, lawmaker urges

By Tom Banse
Oregon Public Broadcasting
February 14, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Legislators in Washington state are joining more than a dozen other states that are considering whether to restrict or ban foreign entities from buying farmland. The initial hearing on Olympia’s version of the foreign ownership restrictions drew more criticism than support. The bill sponsor, state Rep. Clyde Shavers, asserted that foreign ownership of agricultural land threatens water supplies and the state’s food security. …As drafted, the legislation would bar foreign companies, governments and foreign-controlled American subsidiaries from purchasing land in Washington used for farming, ranching or timber production. …Tom Davis of the Washington Forest Protection Association, questioned the broad sweep of the restrictions and whether it addressed a real problem. “I know that a lot of people are concerned about China owning ag lands in the United States,” Davis said, before noting that Canadians were actually by far the top foreign investors in rural American counties, followed by a group of European entities…

Read More