NATIONAL NEWS

Biden blocks Chinese-backed crypto mining firm from land ownership near Wyoming military base

May 13, 2024, 4:43 PM

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 02: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks from the Roosevelt Room of the White House...

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 02: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks from the Roosevelt Room of the White House on May 02, 2024 in Washington, DC. Biden spoke about recent protests across the United States on college campuses. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Monday issued an order blocking a Chinese-backed cryptocurrency mining firm from owning land near a Wyoming nuclear missile base.

The order forces the divestment of property operated as a crypto mining facility near the Francis E. Warren Air Force Base. It also forces the removal of certain equipment owned by MineOne Partners Ltd., a firm that is partly owned by the Chinese state.

This comes as the U.S. is slated on Tuesday to issue major new tariffs on electric vehicles, semiconductors, solar equipment and medical supplies imported from China, according to a U.S. official and another person familiar with the plan.

The divestment order was made in coordination with the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States — a little-known but potentially powerful government agency tasked with investigating corporate deals for national security concerns that holds power to force the company to change.

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A 2018 law granted CFIUS the authority to review real estate transactions near sensitive sites across the U.S., including F.E. Warren Air Force Base.

The order was vague about the specific national security concerns, with the Treasury Department saying only that there were issues with “specialized and foreign-sourced equipment potentially capable of facilitating surveillance and espionage activities” that “presented a significant national security risk.”

According to CFIUS, the purchase was not filed with the body, as required, until after the panel received a public tip.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who serves as the chairperson of CFIUS, said the role of the committee is “to ensure that foreign investment does not undermine our national security, particularly as it relates to transactions that present risk to sensitive U.S. military installations as well as those involving specialized equipment and technologies.”

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Biden blocks Chinese-backed crypto mining firm from land ownership near Wyoming military base