There are reasonable arguments for and against the sale of U.S. port operations to the UAE. But there is a 45-day investigation for such transactions that is required by law. The administration should conduct the review because its legally mandatory and important for the security of the United States.
The scheme that is being concocted as a face-saving measure for the administration is absurd. The administration would conduct the 45-day review — but only because the UAE requested it. From Meet the Press:
SEN. WARNER: And this is a copy of the agreement which is now being delivered to the administration and to members of Congress. And it really spells out unequivocally the willingness of this country””excuse me, this company, to give every means of support to help work this thing out.
It says, “DP World and POPNA,” that’s the British, “jointly request,” now, they’re requesting, that’s a key thing, “that the CFIUS process on a nonprecedential basis to conduct an aview””review full and 45 days for the acquisition.” So there it all is. And I…
MR. RUSSERT: So the company is requesting a 45-day review investigation …
SEN. WARNER: That’s correct. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
This is too much even for right-wing pundit Charles Krauthammer, who supports the deal. From this morning on Fox News:
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: I love how the company is on its own asking for a new review. It sounds like a Soviet show trial in which the defendant says I would like to request that the court indict me again.
Obviously, this is a cover the administration is cooking up to allow it to save the face and say we didn’t ask for a second review.
The point here is simple: the United States government should determine what kind of review is required, not the UAE royal family.