Cheat-Seeking Missles

Monday, February 27, 2006

Doin' The Dubai Stall

The proposal by Dubai Ports World to submit to a further, deeper 45-day review may solve the political issues raised by DP World's effort to operate American ports, but it doesn't solve the structural issues.

Here I go again, quoting in agreement a senator whose policies and pronouncements I generally find appalling, Chuckie Schumer:
"If, after the 45-day investigation, it's kept secret, it's given to the president, who after all has come out for this deal already, I don't think that's going to assure the American people." (source)
The new investigation, like the old, will be conducted by CFIUS, which exists to expand trade through the approval of deals that generally involve competitive issues the parties need to keep secret. You don't want your competitor sitting in the front row of CFIUS hearings where the price and terms of your big deal are being discussed.

That's fine for the sale of widgets in a pre-9/11 world, but it doesn't work on deals like this in times like these. A new process is needed, and 45 days are not enough to develop that process. The right outcome of this blow-up is that we fix CFIUS.

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