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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Score One For The Xenophobes

According to MSNBC and The Washington Post, Dubai Ports World has agreed to give up it's stake in US ports that are included in it's takeover of British shipper P&O North America.

John Warner let the Senate, and White House know of the deal to, "transfer fully the operations of U.S. ports to a U.S. entity." The annoucement also said they would be able to do it in an "orderly fashion" so they wouldn't incur an economic loss.

There are no details on the deal available yet, but Warner's language leads me to believe that DPW will still acquire the terminals from P&O, and then sell them off either as a group, or break them up and sell them individually.

Chuck Schumer of course chimed in that "the devil is in the details", but nothing less was expected of him.

It's going to be interesting to see over the next few months if Congress suddenly loses it's interest in reforming (read, controlling) the CFIUS process, now that their hot burner issue will most likely fade from the screen.

It will also be interesting to see if this fiasco has a negative effect on other investments by other countries in the US. I can't help but think that there are some CFO and CEO types rethinking decisions on that issue as I type.

Mac's Mind has more info on the NY Ports and their truck drivers, a real security concern at our ports.

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24Comments:

Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

"It will also be interesting to see if this fiasco has a negative effect on other investments by other countries in the US."

If those "other countries" happen to be Muslim, that's fine by me. Normally I'm a free trade advocate but count me among the xenophobes on this deal.

1:47 PM  
Blogger Specter said...

You beat me to it Crazy....

But it will tell our muslim allies - of which we have a few - just how racist a country we have become.....

1:57 PM  
Blogger Steven Tucker said...

I understand that the politics on this are terrible - but no one has shown me a single... NOT ONE ... reason why this deal is bad. May the gods bless the Xenophobes in this country - putting politics and ignorance over reason and... awww hell. nevermind.

2:12 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Those filthy B******s! How dare they stop this deal! Don't they know they are racists to think that all Arabs are out to stick it to us?
I know you think W. is wonderful, but this whole thing reminds me of Harriet Myers. Throw out something that stinks to high Heaven just to see if we can pull it off without a hugh outcry, and then say "what's the big deal when called on it.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Patrick, is that any different than I don't want (blacks, gays, hispanics) buying a house on my street?

Specter, only beat you because I left work early today. I agree with your sentiment.

Steven, aw hell about sums it up.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Tim, what exactly stunk to high heaven?

3:00 PM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

"Patrick, is that any different than I don't want (blacks, gays, hispanics) buying a house on my street?"

Yes, we aren't at war with them. Okay, so we aren't at war with the UAE either but we are at war with a huge chunk of Muslims.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Rebekah said...

I think Hamas is rightly considered our enemy? The UAE is at least friendly with them, and I really don't think any other company run by a government who's given millions to terrror would be allowed anywhere near our ports.

Either way, now it's done, and the Democrats can't look tough any more. (Yea!)

3:18 PM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Yes, Rebekah, I hated agreeing with the Dems but 70% of the GOP were also against it. Anyway it's water under the bridge now.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Patrick, I'll go back to my original post on this, since we are "at war with a huge chunk of them" would it be okay to open internment camps for Muslims in the US?

Rebekah, most of the money for 9/11 went through Swiss banks, and companies in their country control 80% of the Port of Baltimore, should the be evicted? What of Germany, who runs docks in NY/NJ and Baltimore, 10 hijackers lived there for many years?

7:18 PM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

I'm totally with Steven Tucker on this one.

And to be honest since I've delved into this more just recently I'm pretty pissed off about this outcome. I re-looked at one of my articles that I read in researching this and here's the 2nd company after the UAE: "PSA, the world's second-largest port operator, which is part of the Singapore government's investment arm."

Is an arm of the Singapore government a better option? The real question is do they have American employees like the UAE does? I'm pretty ticked off that it seems like this was all about political posturing. The president and Congress should've done their homework on this and then explained it to the American people. Instead they saw the fears of the American people and responded with a knee-jerk reaction. I have to say I'm disappointed.

8:45 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

In view of the mess this was creating, I think this is possibly the best solution possible. The politics was getting more important than the reality and that is never a good thing.

8:58 PM  
Blogger ablur said...

Let's put the biases aside and focus on the real important issue, Our Borders. These ports are simply another American border. We need to man our own borders no matter what. We need real Americans with a stake in what the ultimate out come will be. This small case needs to be repeated and clean up all our border issues both sea and land. We need to hold are representatives feet to the fire and make them complete the real interests of the people. We further need to push for real security and full inspections of all goods. The idea of putting a receiving terminal off our mainland shores and start going through all these containers needs to be put in place immediately.

Let's stop with the racial and prejudicial arguments and start doing what is right for the survival of our nation.

11:00 PM  
Blogger Gun-Toting Liberal said...

CP, with all due respect, it's not "racist" or "biggoted" with me. If you want Arabs to run our ports, fine... just make sure they are American Citizens first. If an American company of Arab descent wants to bid upon, and win a deal to handle our ports, I'm all for it.

I was astonished to hear our brothers from across the pond in the UK were in charge of those ports. I dislike that idea almost as much as I dislike our friends from the Emirates (and yes, I agree they are our friends) running them.

I agree with the other commenter who put the ports on even keel with our borders. I don't want the UK "managing" our borders, I don't want Mexico "managing" our borders, I don't want the Emirates "managing" our borders... and I don't want any of them "managing" our ports either.

The ports and the borders represent that line drawn in the sand that mark our sovereignty, and I'll be damned if I want any foreign nations overlooking that process. We have a Coast Guard, and we have both an Air and National Guard. By their very names they should be perched upon every border and port we have, and NOBODY else, to protect this nation's sovereignty in this time of war.

Give me Mexican Americans to guard our Southern border. Give me Canadian Americans to guard the Northern border. And give me Arab Americans to guard our ports and I'll be fine with it. But DAMMIT... don't ask Mexico to guard our Southern border, don't ask Canada to guard our Northern Border, and don't ask U.A.E. to guard our ports.

This is America, it is our sovereignty, and every buck that stands to be made for insuring our nation remains intact (since apparently, there IS a buck in it afterall) ought to damned well go into the pockets of Americans, PERIOD.

2:03 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

LMC, the #6 shipper, who leases tons of terminals on our west coast is owned by the investment arm of the Chinese Government.

Ablur and GTL, I'll refer you back to these two posts, you really should read all the news articles, and Senate testimony.

http://crazypolitics.blogspot.com/2006/02/more-on-docks.html

http://crazypolitics.blogspot.com/2006/02/breaking-some-myths.html

If you read the senate testimony you find that DPW already operates in 19 countries. In everyone of their terminals, US Customs Agents work, as part of the Container Security Initiative.

DPW provides DHS with a list of all containers, contents, shippers info and manifests 24 hours before they are loaded. If DHS has a problem with any of them, US Customs agents can inspect it before it gets on the ship.

When it arrives here, US Customs, and the Coast Guard are the one's doing inspections, and providing security, not DPW (or any other shipper).

You'd also find that they were keeping the P&O N.A. managment team in place, which while a British "owned" company was made up of US citizens for their US operations.

And you'd find out that in all the ports they were keeping their contracts with the Long Shoreman's union in place, hiring American's to do the loading and unloading.

You'd also find that the top two people in the management end of the company are American's, one a retired admiral, the other leaving to be head of the US Maritime Administration.

GTL, you'd know that 80% of the terminal space in the US isn't run by American companies. 0% in Baltimore is American, the Swiss manage the majority of the terminals there.

Or, you could just yell that Arabs (mexicans, canadians, austrialians, chinese, et) run the company, not have any of the actual facts, and keep screaming.

4:16 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Oops, I forgot, if we are truly worried about it we could let the Ports Authorities be in charge of it, we've seen how good they do with screeing truckers.

After going back and checking 9,352 active Sea Link cardholders with New Jersey licenses, the federal agency found that nearly half had possible criminal histories
http://crazypolitics.blogspot.com/2006/03/since-we-are-worried-about-ports.html

4:19 AM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

"...would it be okay to open internment camps for Muslims in the US?"

I hope it doesn't come to that.

Now I read that another UAE company already does port business for the US Navy:

"ISS has more than 200 offices around the world and provides services to clients ranging from cruise ship operators to oil tankers to commercial cargo vessels. In the U.S., the company operates out of more than a dozen port cities, including Houston, Miami and New Orleans, arranging pilots, tugs, linesmen and stevedores, among other things."

http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1171773,00.html

I realize that I have been small-minded on this issue but so were 83% of Americans.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Blogger ate my reply!

Patrick, I really think that if more people had searched out articles like that, and the stuff I posted from the Baltimore Sun earlier, the 83% would have been a lot smaller.

Unfortunately, Congress, and the media created a "arab security scare", with slanted stories and half facts. Then they seemed surprised so many folks were angry. What did they expect?

Unfortunately, the politics they are playing aren't going to be helpful in world relations (see todays post), and they'll probably wonder why.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Gun-Toting Liberal said...

CP; thanks for taking the time to comment, but I still don't think you see where I am coming from here.

It has nothing to do with the fact that the U.A.E. was involved, it has to do with the fact that national security should remain the sole job of Americans for America. If there are financial rewards involved in securing our borders, or managing our ports, I want every dime of it to fall into the hands of American Citizens, to be sent directly (vs. indirectly) into our own economy.

Let the Emirates and Quataris, and everybody else who is considered a "friend" own and operate hotels, motels, catering businesses, etc., here. I would just prefer that ANYTHING having to do with our national security stays 100% completely in the hands of Americans.

Now why would you, or anybody else think that is an unreasonable request?

3:08 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

GTL, check out the Washington Post story I linked in my post this morning. It explains a lot of the issues. And instead of coming from politicians trying to score points, it comes from maritime experts.

And since the Port Authorities handle gate and dock security force, and the Coast Guard and Customs inspections and waterway security, I'm still not convinced it's as much a security concern as the folks on the Hill who want votes are.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Gun-Toting Liberal said...

CP; with ALL due respect, you're still not catching my drift. Our borders and our ports are one and the same. And we have military personnel to guard and manage them... just like most other countries do. I think we need to go that direction. I don't like having Brits gaurd and/or manage (whatever the semantics are) our ports either.

Sovereignty isn't something to screw around with. I'm not about to hire the Crips to patrol my streets just because the Bloods hate me worse; not when people with the same last name as I are willing to do the same job. It's common sense, although it might not be the world's best analogy...

Understand, my friend? Ports and borders need to be protected and managed by troops who are so "ate up", they've got the American Flag tattooed on their biceps.

That's where I'm coming from. If that makes me a "Xenophobe", then so be it.

3:15 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

GTL, it doesn't make you a xenophobe, it shows you are under informed on how port and terminal operations, including security work.

6:59 AM  
Blogger Gun-Toting Liberal said...

Alright, my friend... no problem. We can't agree on everything I guess. Agree to disagree with a cyber handshake :-)

11:27 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

No problem GTL, as I've said before, this place would be no fun if everyone agreed.

8:11 PM  

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