Chinese Company Sues Obama For Blocking Purchase of Wind Farms In Oregon

A Chinese firm is suing President Obama for blocking its attempts in Oregon to acquire four wind farms, accusing the president of using the move as a campaign ploy to show that he is getting tough on China.

The Chinese-owned firm, Ralls Corp., acquired the wind farm projects near the Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility, which Obama deemed a threat to U.S. national security. It was the first time in 22 years that a foreign investment has been blocked on U.S. soil.

The Obama administration said the president was merely acting on the recommendation of the federal Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which he was obligated to do.

The wind farms are near the restricted airspace of the naval facility, where the U.S. tests remote-control drones and electronic warfare aircraft that accompany American bombers on missions and can jam radar. The aircraft fly as low as 200 ft at speeds as fast as 300 mph.

“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 White House said when issuing the order.

But in its court papers, released yesterday, Ralls alleges that the president’s decision was all about politics. The company said Obama had “acted in an unlawful and unauthorized manner” and had not treated Ralls on equal terms. The company claims the president had produced no evidence to support his decision.

But Rand, which is owned by two executives from Sany Group, China’s largest engineering machine producer, went much further, wading in the lawsuit into the November 6 election.

Pointing out that China’s trade advantage over the U.S. has become an issue in the presidential election, Xinhua, China’s state-run news agency, said Obama was “China-bashing” in order “to woo some blue-collar voters.”

Xinhua pointed out that Chinese officials are accustomed to being American whipping boys every four years during the presidential election.

But an official who worked at the Chinese embassy in Washington told the BBC that the heated rhetoric is not taken too seriously in Beijing.

According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, while most Americans saw U.S. relations with China as “generally good,” they also saw China as posing the greatest danger to the U.S.

 

Back to top