Business, Economics and Jobs

Chinese company suing Obama over blocked wind farm sale


President Barack Obama blocked a Chinese company from building wind turbines close to a US Navy site on September 28, 2012, citing national security reasons.



A Chinese company responded to President Obama’s move to block its purchase of an Oregon wind farm earlier this year by taking POTUS to court.

Ralls Corporation added Obama to a lawsuit it launched on September 12 that challenged a ruling from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, which also blocked the deal.

Ralls added Obama to the lawsuit on Monday, and the information became public on Tuesday, reported.

“By failing to provide Ralls with sufficient notice and opportunity to be heard prior to prohibiting its acquisition of the wind farms and imposing extraordinary restrictions on the use and enjoyment of its property interests, CFIUS and the president have unconstitutionally deprived Ralls of its property absent due process,” the amended complaint said, according to Bloomberg.

Two Chinese executives from the country’s largest engineering machine production company, Sany Group, also own Ralls.

The company purchased four wind farm projects in Oregon this year near an Air Force base that conducts drone and other electronic warfare testing, BBC reported.

Obama blocked the sale, the first time in 22 years a president has intervened in this manner.

Chinese media accused the president is pandering to “blue-collar voters” ahead of the election, according to BBC.

Ralls must now sell the farms; it accused Washington of acting “in an unlawful and unauthorized manner,” BBC reported.

The White House said preventing the sale to a Chinese company is a matter of national security.

“There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that Ralls Corporation … might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States,” the president’s statement reads.

Bloomberg reported that Ralls had completed the transaction without providing the necessary disclosures to CFIUS, and attorneys quoted by the news service cast doubt on the Chinese company's chances of success in the lawsuit:

With the lawsuit, Ralls is “making a constitutional argument to be reimbursed for ignoring a statutory review where Congress granted the president the authority to unwind a transaction that threatens national security,” said Ivan Schlager, who heads the CFIUS practice for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in Washington. “Now Ralls wants the U.S. taxpayer to pay for their decision to go forward? Good luck.”

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