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Ralls settles national security dispute with Obama

UNITED STATES: Wind developer Ralls Corp and the US government have reached a "favourable" settlement in their high-profile legal dispute over national security.

The Obama administration had objected to the use of Sany's 2MW turbine
The Obama administration had objected to the use of Sany's 2MW turbine

Ralls Corp, owned by executives of Chinese manufacturer Sany Group, had sued President Barack Obama and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
 
The dispute erupted in 2013 after Obama’s administration abruptly barred Ralls from developing the Butter Creek projects in Oregon — on "national security" grounds — and ordered the projects sold. They are located near a US Navy test base.
 
It was the first time since 1990 that a US president blocked a foreign business deal.

Obama also barred use of Sany’s Chinese turbines in the projects even if they were under new ownership, and he objected to a new owner chosen by Ralls. As a result, Sany had said it may lose $20 million.

In court, Ralls has argued that Obama exceeded his powers and should have warned them of CFIUS’ decision. No one had ever before sued the US president over a CFIUS ruling.
 
Under the just-announced settlement, Ralls has dismissed its suit against Obama and CFIUS, and the US government has dismissed its pending suit against Ralls.
 
The terms are confidential.  Ralls’ attorney George Hicks declined to say if Ralls received financial compensation. But he said Ralls has already sold the projects to the buyer to which the government previously objected.
 
"This … also paves the road for Ralls to continuously engage in US wind energy projects and utilise Sany’s wind turbines accordingly," said David Liu, general manager of Ralls.

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