President Barack Obama on Friday blocked a Chinese company from building wind turbines close to a Navy military site in Oregon due to national security concerns.
The privately-owned Chinese company Ralls Corp, which had been installing wind turbines that had been made in China by Sany Group, will now be forced shelve its plans and divest its interest in the four wind farm projects it acquired earlier this year.
In recent weeks, Obama and his Republican opponent in the presidential race, Mitt Romney, have traded jabs over which of them would be more effective in dealing with the challenges the ascendant Chinese economy poses to the United States. On Sept. 17, the U.S. and China filed international trade complaints against each other, boosting tension over trade issues.
The presidential order prohibits the purchase of four Oregon wind farms by Ralls Corp., whose owners are Chinese nationals and which is affiliated with a Chinese company that makes wind turbines. The order instructs Ralls to divest its interest in the wind farm projects that it acquired this year.
The wind farm sites are in or near restricted air space at Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility Boardman in Oregon, according to a statement by the Treasury Department, which chairs the inter-agency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which oversees such transactions.
“The administration will continue to ensure that the United States remains the most attractive place for businesses to locate, invest, grow, and create jobs. The president’s decision is specific to this transaction and is not a precedent with regard to any other foreign direct investment from China or any other country,” the Treasury Department statement said.
The projects were all within or in the vicinity of restricted air space at a naval weapons systems training facility in Oregon, the administration said in announcing Obama’s decision.