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National Security Concerns in Real Estate Transactions

September 04, 2018

In late 2012, an American company, Ralls Corporation, with two Chinese ultimate owners, purchased certain wind farm projects in Oregon, including associated real estate. What began as a routine cross-border transaction sparked a three-year lawsuit between Ralls Corporation and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), an inter-agency committee housed within the Executive Branch and tasked with reviewing foreign investments in the U.S. based on national security concerns. In a nutshell, CFIUS determined that Ralls Corporation’s acquisition of the wind farm projects posed a national security threat, and required Ralls Corporation to divest its interest in the project.

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