Dubai Ports World Transfers Operations to U.S. Entity
Dubai Ports World has agreed to turn its ports contracts over to an American entity, according to a statement read by Sen. John Warner:
Because of the strong relationship between the United Arab Emirates and the United States and to preserve that relationship, DP World has decided to transfer fully the U.S. operation of P&O Operations North America to a United States entity,” DP World’s chief operating officer, Edward H. Bilkey, said in the statement that Warner relayed to other senators.
It is still not clear from this what “a United States entity” means. Is it merely an American subsidiary of the same company?
The early evidence is sketchy with AP reporting “It was not immediately clear whether the announcement would be enough to cool widespread sentiment in Congress to pass legislation blocking the deal” and WaPo confident that, “The announcement appears to head off a major confrontation that was brewing between Congress and the Bush administration over the controversial deal.”
See OTB News for updates to the story.
Update: More pandering by Congress. From a press release by Majority Leader John Boehner:
The American people raised serious and genuine concerns about this proposed transaction. When it comes to the operation of our nation’s ports and borders, our national security is our first and foremost concern. Americans have the right to feel confident and comfortable with the security arrangements their government sets for them, and House Republicans were obligated to take action to respond to the concerns Americans have expressed about the proposed deal.
Update 2: Bithead comments that “there is but one firm capable of dealing with operation of so large scale a project: Haliburton.”
Now that would be sweet! And here you thought Rove and Cheney were losing their touch!
Update 3: Glenn Reynolds is thinking along the same lines: “If Halliburton gets the deal, will people think the whole thing was a sucker-punch?” Heh. Indeed.