State Senator Lori Berman, a Boca Raton Democrat, and State Representative Katherine Waldron, a Wellington Democrat, filed bills which will block the purchase or acquisition of real property by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and any related third party, in locations close to military bases and locations deemed to be strategic assets in the state of Florida.
The sponsors say that the legislation will in effect, protect Florida’s business industry, our national security, our agriculture sector and our tourists and residents from any potential covert influence of the CCP and their partners. At least, it would be a step forward.
“With this bill, Florida will take a step forward in protecting American national security and ensuring that our military’s assets are protected from foreign surveillance,” said Senator Berman. “Passing this legislation is vital to countering the CCP’s troubling influence and unlawful surveillance.”
“This bill seeks to proactively protect our physical and strategic assets from being exploited or undermined by potential foreign adversaries,” said Representative Waldron. “It will prevent these adversaries from exploiting their proximity to our strategic assets.”
The CCP and their partners have reportedly already successfully purchased more than $2 billion in land throughout the United States, or close to 200,000 acres. Some of this land is located close to military bases. Without any legislation in place, the leadership in those states were often unable to halt these purchases.
Under this bill, strategic assets include: power plants, water treatment facilities, emergency operation centers, military bases, telecommunications towers, law enforcement facilities and other structures used for similar purposes or deemed strategic by the state.
This bill complements President Joe Biden’s recent Executive Order, signed September 22, 2022. The executive order helped define additional national security factors for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) to consider when evaluating transactions. This was done largely in response a growing bipartisan concern in the government pertaining to preserving U.S. technological leadership, protecting American’s sensitive data and enhancing U.S. supply chain resilience.