News / Asia

Chinese Firm Sues Obama Over Wind-Farm Decision

A wind farm in Shangyi, Hebei, China, Sept. 8, 2009 file photo.
A wind farm in Shangyi, Hebei, China, Sept. 8, 2009 file photo.

A Chinese-owned company is challenging U.S. President Barack Obama's decision to block its acquisition of a wind farm near a sensitive U.S. military site used to test unmanned drones.

Ralls Corp. filed a lawsuit late Monday claiming Obama exceeded his constitutional rights and did not provide evidence to support his decision, according to China's official Xinhua news agency

Last week, Obama ordered Ralls to stop the project and sell off its four planned wind farms that were to be built in the northwestern state of Oregon.

The White House order from the president 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.” 

It is the first time in two decades that a U.S. president has blocked a foreign purchase on such grounds. The move follows a recommendation made last month by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., an inter-governmental panel that monitors the national security implications of foreign investments. Ralls is also suing that committee.

Obama’s decision comes just weeks before the U.S. presidential election at a time when his political rival Mitt Romney has accused the White House of not being tough enough on China's trade practices.

Xinhua said both Obama’s Democratic Party and the rival Republican Party are using “China-bashing tactic[s] to woo some blue-collar voters” during an “election year when the U.S. economy is mired in tepid growth and high unemployment rate.”

Ralls’ lawsuit says the company was deprived of due process and is seeking "fair treatment under the law and Constitution." 

A U.S. Treasury spokesperson said the administration believes the lawsuit "has no merit" and that it will "defend the case vigorously." Analysts say the suit has little chance of success, since U.S. law gives the president broad powers to exercise discretion in national security matters.

Ralls Corp. is owned by two Chinese executives of Sany Group, China's largest machinery manufacturer, according to Xinhua.

The Treasury Department said the company’s proposed wind farm sites are near or within restricted Navy airspace at the Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility. The facility in Boardman, Oregon is used to test drones and practice air combat maneuvers and non-explosive bombing and missile exercises.

The Treasury Department said the president’s decision is specific to the Ralls case and is “not a precedent with regard to any other foreign direct investment from China or any other country."

Ralls Corp. filed a lawsuit late Monday claiming Obama exceeded his constitutional rights and did not provide evidence to support his decision, according to China's official Xinhua news agency

Last week, Obama ordered Ralls to stop the project and sell off its four planned wind farms that were to be built in the northwestern state of Oregon.

The White House order from the president 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.” 

It is the first time in two decades that a U.S. president has blocked a foreign purchase on such grounds. The move follows a recommendation made last month by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., an inter-governmental panel that monitors the national security implications of foreign investments. Ralls is also suing that committee.

Obama’s decision comes just weeks before the U.S. presidential election at a time when his political rival Mitt Romney has accused the White House of not being tough enough on China's trade practices.

Xinhua said both Obama’s Democratic Party and the rival Republican Party are using “China-bashing tactic[s] to woo some blue-collar voters” during an “election year when the U.S. economy is mired in tepid growth and high unemployment rate.”

Ralls’ lawsuit says the company was deprived of due process and is seeking "fair treatment under the law and Constitution." 

A U.S. Treasury spokesperson said the administration believes the lawsuit "has no merit" and that it will "defend the case vigorously." Analysts say the suit has little chance of success, since U.S. law gives the president broad powers to exercise discretion in national security matters.

Ralls Corp. is owned by two Chinese executives of Sany Group, China's largest machinery manufacturer, according to Xinhua.

The Treasury Department said the company’s proposed wind farm sites are near or within restricted Navy airspace at the Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility. The facility in Boardman, Oregon is used to test drones and practice air combat maneuvers and non-explosive bombing and missile exercises.

The Treasury Department said the president’s decision is specific to the Ralls case and is “not a precedent with regard to any other foreign direct investment from China or any other country."

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid