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March 09, 2006

Dubai Ports World To Divest Of All American Interests/Operations

It's over, more or less:

The United Arab Emirates company that was attempting to take over management operations at six U.S. ports announced today that it will divest itself of all American interests.

The announcement appears to head off a major confrontation that was brewing between Congress and the Bush administration over the controversial deal.

Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) announced on the Senate floor shortly before 2 p.m. that Dubai Ports World would "transfer fully the operations of U.S. ports to a U.S. entity." Warner, who had been trying to broker a compromise on the issue, said DP World would divest itself of U.S. interests "in an orderly fashion" so as not to suffer "economic loss."

It was not immediately clear how the divesture would be handled or what U.S. company would take over the operation.

Warner's announcement came just hours after Republican leaders from the House and Senate met with President Bush to tell him Congress appeared ready to block the deal.

I guess at this point this is the best possible outcome. The issue goes away, the ports will be run by an American operation (assuming, say, Halliburton is willing to take over), and, to the extent American security was compromised, it no longer is.

But the political damage has done, both to Bush domestically and as a foreign leader seeking to build bridges with what supposedly are moderate governments in the Islamic world.

Reax Roundup at Michelle's.

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posted by Ace at 03:04 PM

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