Legal Opinion on Washington Tire Pending
The Port of Ephrata, an inland industrial area located in the US state of Washington, is awaiting a legal opinion from its attorney about proceeding with Washington Tire's prospective factory. Local newspaper the Columbia Basin Herald states that Washington Tire missed a recent deadline to supply documentation to the Port of Ephrata about the "legal authority" of company representative Abraham Hengyucius (whose real name, according to US publication Tire Review, is Hengyu Zhang) and the firm’s "legitimate incorporation".
“To the best of my knowledge, we still haven’t heard (from Washington Tire),” said port manager Mike Wren on September 13. He added that the port has no choice but to go through the legal process for the purchase and sale agreement – the numerous issues surrounding the company do not give the port legal grounds to stop proceedings. These issues, Wren elaborated, include a trade name infringement lawsuit as referenced in court documents, the company’s perceived unpopularity within the industry and the lack of tyres being produced by Washington Tire.
When the port began its negotiations with the company in 2008 it was not aware that Hengyucius went by a second name, nor was it familiar with the issues that have since surfaced. Wren argued that “there’s a balance between being really diligent and getting the facts the best you can, without sounding like the Gestapo,” yet it is probable he now wishes Washington Tire had been more thoroughly investigated.
According to the Columbia Basin Herald, Port of Ephrata business Aero-Space Port International (APSI) has also had “issues” with Washington Tire. APSI is designated an ‘EB-5’ regional centre project, which means permanent US residency visas can be obtained through investment in the business. It is the only approved EB-5 regional centre in the local area, yet on a website Washington Tire allegedly claimed itself to be an EB-5 regional centre. APSI took legal action against Washington Tire, claiming it suffered competitive damage after prospective immigrant investors asked why ASPI wasn’t offering comparable guaranteed investment returns to Washington Tire.