President Obama stepped in to nullify the acquisition of four Oregon wind farms by a Chinese-owned company, citing “credible evidence” that the company “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”

In recent weeks, Obama and his Republican opponent in the presidential race, Mitt Romney, have traded jabs over which of them would be more effective in dealing with the challenges the ascendant Chinese economy poses to the United States. On Sept. 17, the U.S. and China filed international trade complaints against each other, boosting tension over trade issues.

The presidential order prohibits the purchase of four Oregon wind farms by  Ralls Corp., whose owners are Chinese nationals and which is affiliated with a Chinese company that makes wind turbines. The order instructs Ralls to divest its interest in the wind farm projects that it acquired this year. 

The wind farm sites are in or near restricted air space at Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility Boardman in Oregon, according to a statement by the Treasury Department, which chairs the inter-agency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which oversees such transactions.

“The administration will continue to ensure that the United States remains the most attractive place for businesses to locate, invest, grow, and create jobs. The president’s decision is specific to this transaction and is not a precedent with regard to any other foreign direct investment from China or any other country,” the Treasury Department statement said.