Saturday, February 25, 2006

Congress To Make Face-Saving Deal With Administration For Dubai Ports

Time magazine says a face-saving deal between the Administration and Congress over the sale of control over key U.S. ports to Dubai Ports is in the works. Dubai Ports, which has already agreed to separate out the U.S. ports from its purchase agreement for the time being, would seek a 45-day investigation of the purchase by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., which earlier approved the deal after a cursory 30-day review.

As we reported earlier, the Exon-Florio provision of the Defense Production Act mandated a 45-day investigation of the proposed sale after the initial 30-day review. This didn't happen because, presumably, the Administration did not believe the deal affected national security. Time said, "Administration officials remain adamant that their first review was thorough and proper, so the face-saving element was crucial, according to one Capitol Hill negotiator . . . This approach would eliminate the need for new legislation now, the Republican sources said. "

At this point, however, the 45-day investigation is pointless because the Administration has obviously already made its decision. It's hardly going to reach any different conclusion than it reached before. Some fight Congress is willing to put up after all the rhetoric we heard over the past week. All those lobbyists Dubai Ports recently hired must be doing their jobs.

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