Chinese firm sues Obama over wind farm project
Big News Network.com Wednesday 3rd October, 2012
WASHINGTON - A Chinese-owned firm has sued President Barack Obama for blocking its bid to acquire wind-farm projects near a US naval site alleging that the president exceeded his constitutional rights.
The wind-farm projects in Boardman, Oregon, are near a naval site used to test unmanned drones.
The official Xinhua news agency said the company, Ralls Corp. claimed the US president did not provide evidence as to why the wind farms could pose a national security risk.
Last week, Obama issued a presidential order to prevent Ralls Corp., from owning four wind farms, citing national security risks for their location near the Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility.
Ralls Corp. is owned by two executives of Sany Group, China's largest machinery manufacturer.
In an amended complaint filed on Monday in the US District Court in Washington, Ralls Corp. said Obama acted in "an unlawful and unauthorized manner" in issuing the order without providing "any evidence or reasoned explanation" for his decision to use a national defense law in prohibiting the acquisition.
Ralls also contended that Obama and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) failed to give the firm "sufficient notice and opportunity to be heard".
The CIFUS is a panel made up of representatives of 16 government agencies and offices that scrutinizes the national-security implications of foreign investments.
In its order blocking the Chinese company bid, the White House said: "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 Treasury Department said CFIUS made its recommendation to Obama after receiving an analysis of the potential threats from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
A White House representative referred questions on the matter to the Treasury Department, which plays a central role in the CFIUS determination process.
Natalie Wyeth Earnest, a Treasury spokeswoman, said Tuesday, "We believe the lawsuit has no merit, and we intend to defend the case vigorously."
It was the first time in two decades that a U.S. president has blocked a foreign purchase on such grounds.
The move comes just weeks ahead of the November 6 US presidential election.
Obama has been subjected to criticism from his Republican challenger Mitt Romney of being too soft on China.