3 Oct 2012

Chinese firm sues Obama over blocking wind farms

9:48 pm on 3 October 2012

A Chinese-owned firm in the United States is suing President Barack Obama after he blocked a wind farm deal on national security grounds.

Ralls Corp, a private company, acquired four wind farm projects near an American naval facility in Oregon earlier this year.

Mr Obama signed the order blocking the deal last week. The lawsuit alleges that the US government overstepped its authority. It is the first foreign investment to be blocked in the US for 22 years, the BBC reports.

The move forced Ralls Corp to divest its stake in the projects located near restricted airspace used by the Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility.

Ralls Corp's complaint was filed on Monday and alleged that Barack Obama had "acted in an unlawful and unauthorised manner".

The firm, owned by two Chinese nationals, said in its suit that Mr Obama failed to adhere to the law to treat Ralls Corp on equal terms. The court documents were made public on Tuesday.

Issuing the order last week, 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."

However, the company said in its suit that Mr Obama had not produced evidence to support that.

The military has said it uses the Oregon base to test unmanned drones and other equipment for electronic warfare. The aircraft fly as low as 60 metres at speeds of as much as 500km/h.

Ralls Corp is owned by two executives from Sany Group, China's largest engineering machine producer.

Responding to Mr Obama's decision last week, a representative of Sany Group told Chinese state media that the deal posed no threat to US security.