WASHINGTON — A Chinese-owned company has filed suit against President Barack Obama for blocking its purchase of wind farms near a US military base on national security grounds, court documents made public Tuesday showed.
Obama signed the decree on Friday banning the sale of four wind farms in Oregon to the Ralls Corp and its Chinese affiliate, Sany Group.
In the decree, Obama said companies linked to Chinese nationals "might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States."
In a complaint filed Monday in a federal court here, Ralls Corp argued that Obama had "exceeded his limited authority to 'suspend or prohibit' a 'covered transaction.'"
It asked the court to declare the executive order "arbitrary and capricious" in contending that the transaction posed national security risks to the United States.
"We believe the lawsuit has no merit, and we intend to defend the case vigorously," the US Treasury Department said.
The dispute comes just weeks before US presidential elections in which US trade relations with China have figured prominently.
The presidential order blocked Ralls' purchase of the Lower Ridge Windfarm, High Plateau Windfarm, Mule Hollow Windfarm and Pine City Windfarm, which are near the Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility Boardman in Oregon.
Ralls is incorporated in Delaware, but controlled by Chinese citizens through the Sany Group, according to US officials.
Ralls defended the wind farm project as one that will generate jobs in Oregon "at a time when American people need more jobs."
In filing its complaint, the company said, "Ralls continues to show its profound faith in transparency and due process, and seeks only fair treatment under the law and the constitution."