(WASHINGTON) — President Obama Friday blocked a Chinese firm from acquiring four wind-farm projects near a Naval facility in Oregon, citing national security concerns.
“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 president said in the order issued by the White House.
The president ordered Ralls Corp., which is owned by Chinese nationals, to divest its interest in the wind farms it purchased earlier this year. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States had previously ordered the firm to cease development of the projects while the government investigated security risks. Ralls Corp. later sued.
The election-year move comes as China has become a hot-button topic on the campaign trail. GOP nominee Mitt Romney has criticized Obama and his administration for not being tough enough on China, and both campaigns are running ads in battleground states attacking the other on China.
Friday marked the first time in 22 years that a U.S. president has used the law to block a foreign investment deal for security reasons.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Shelbie Harris, Idaho State Journal
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Tom LoBianco, Deirdre Walsh and Tal Kopan, CNN