Restrictions on Canadian Ownership of Federal Mineral Leases Under the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920


The provisions of 30 U.S.C. § 181, which bar ownership of leases under the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 by citizens of a foreign country whenever the laws of that country deny “similar or like privileges” to U.S. citizens, reflect a reciprocity principle under which the United States would be able to respond in kind when another country restricts American investment in its minerals. Accordingly, the United States may take responsive steps “mirroring” Canadian restrictions on foreign investment in its mineral resources, so as to restore “similar or like privileges” between U.S. and Canadian citizens for purposes of § 181.

Updated July 9, 2014