These specific U.S. seaports have been run by a British-based firm, but that firm was recently acquired by UAE-based Dubai Ports World for $6.8 billion.
"I don't understand why it's OK for a British company to operate our ports but not a company from the Middle East when we've already determined security is not an issue," W. said.
Before continuing, let's clarify that W. was not behind the deal. According to the AP, the deal was approved by the federal Committee on Foreign Investments (tisk, tisk) and W. was unaware of the deal before its approval.
The U.S. is not a stranger to foreign-owned ports. In L.A. alone, companies from China, Denmark, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan lease operations, according to CNN. Port security is the responsibility of the U.S. Coast Guard and the United States customs office, but the idea of Arab ownership is drawing security questions - and rightfully so.
Most Americans are timid about Arab-related economic ties as we see instability and corruption in the Middle East on a daily basis (although the UAE isn't usually a problem). And we don't need to step too far out of political correctness to say that most terrorist groups that target the U.S. are Arab-based. Bi-partisan leaders in Congress are drafting legislation to halt the acquisition, but W. says he'll veto.
I'll end on a humorous note. Take are a gander at this NY Times article about W's recent alternative energy campaign. According to the article, "...the Energy Department transferred $5 million over the weekend to the Midwest Research Institute, the contractor that operates the renewable energy lab, to restore all the jobs cut earlier this month due to budget shortfalls" - just before W.'s publicity visit yesterday. W., fire your PR people and give me a call.