Sany Group Co., the Chinese company banned from building a wind-farm in Oregon, said U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to block the project was motivated by electoral concerns rather than national-security issues.
“It’s a political stunt -- complete bureaucratic nonsense,” Wu Jialiang, deputy general manager of Sany, China’s biggest construction-machinery maker, told reporters in Beijing today. The wind-farm isn’t a threat to the U.S., he said.
Sany affiliate Ralls Corp. is suing Obama in a bid to overturn the ban, the first transaction blocked by a U.S. president on national-security grounds in 22 years. Obama barred the investment amid a Presidential election campaign in which challenger Mitt Romney has called for a harder policy against China.
Blocking the wind-farm “may not benefit Obama’s election,” Niu Xinchun, deputy director of the Institute of American Studies at China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said at the Sany briefing. “Banning overseas investment isn’t good for employment and economic recovery.”
Ralls was seeking to build a wind-farm using Sany-made turbines. The U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment ruled against the plan as it was located in sites near or within restricted Navy airspace, the Treasury Department, which heads the agency, said Sept. 28. The decision shouldn’t be viewed as a precedent for any other investment from China, the department said.
Sany, which controls Ralls, is looking for other projects where it can use turbine equipment already shipped to the U.S., Wu said. China should also emphasis national security in its trade relations with the U.S., said Xiang Wenbo, president of Sany’s listed unit Sany Heavy Industry Co.
A U.S. congressional committee also this month said the government shouldn’t use equipment made by Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp., China’s two largest phone-equipment makers, because of security concerns. It recommended against letting the companies make acquisitions in the U.S.
Separately, Waltham, Massachusetts-based A123 Systems Inc. this week scrapped an agreement with Chinese auto-parts maker Wanxiang Group Corp. as it filed for bankruptcy and agreed to sell some assets to Johnson Controls Inc.
Bankrupt business-jet maker Hawker Beechcraft Inc.’s talks to sell itself in a $1.79 billion deal to Superior Aviation Beijing Co. may also fall apart as no agreement has been reached six weeks after the end of an exclusive negotiating period, according to people familiar with the process.
The case is Ralls Corp. v. Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., 1:12-cv-01513, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington.)