Matthew's Foray into Blogging

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Outsourcing Port Management

It seems to me that Dubai Ports World’s pending takeover of operations at six U.S. seaports is not problematic so much because of security concerns, as it is because it involves government ownership of U.S. ports. An NPR feature addressed the many levels of security at New Jersey’s Port Newark. Al Qaeda could operate U.S. ports, and the security is so tight that they could not sneak anything into the United States. Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne Jr. makes a good point when he notes that government ownership of the ports makes this deal objectionable.

Republicans and conservatives would be aghast at the idea of our government owning a company that operated so many of our ports. That would be – just imagine! – socialism. But Dubai Ports World is, well, a socialist operation, a state-owned company in the United Arab Emirates. Why is it bad for the federal government to own our port operations, but okay for a foreign government?

Mr. Dionne credits this deal with bringing to light the security of our ports and our government’s process of approving foreign takeovers of American companies through the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States, which he says is conducted in secret.

2 Comments:

  • There is very little security at our ports. I have first hand experience hanging around a certain port on official business and NO ONE stopped and asked me or the people with me why we were there. That terrified me to the core.

    Moreover, I took a cruise in 2003 (and it will be my last cruise until I am tethered to an oxygen tank....) and the security getting back on the ships was pathetic. I thought of all kinds of schemes to get people into the US using cruise ships. It would be incredibly easy, I think.

    The Dubai deal wouldn't necessarily make the situation worse. In fact, it's a good controversy because at the very least, it's bringing security issues to the forefront for awhile.

    By Blogger Ashley, at 8:24 PM, February 28, 2006  

  • I know very little of the "port" issues but my only problem with the UAE running our port security is that I would like to see US citizens employed in that capacity. I don't like seeing jobs go overseas after having been laid off due to downsizing so many times. I think that rejecting them because of their nationality is against everything we stand for as Americans.

    By Blogger Cassie, at 8:52 PM, February 28, 2006  

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