Gone With the Wind: The Ralls Transaction and Implications for Foreign Investment in the United States

December 30, 2013
In 2012, pursuant to a national security review conducted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), President Obama ordered the unwinding of Ralls Corporation’s (“Ralls”) acquisition of certain US wind farm companies. Ralls’ legal challenge of the President’s Order, and the court’s opinions to date, highlight important considerations for both foreign investors and the national security community. This article contextualizes the case within a broader debate about how well CFIUS balances openness to foreign investment and protection of national security, points out important gaps in the national security review process, and considers opportunities for greater transparency.