Make no mistake about it, the “face-saving” deal on the Dubai port imbroglio was concocted by the White House. It’s being spun to the press as a “offer” by Dubai Ports World. But the AP reports that “senior U.S. officials and DP World executives have closely coordinated their efforts in recent weeks.”
The deal is political, not substantive. It’s designed take some heat off the White House, not protect the security of the United States.
1. The deal would not actually be delayed. Dubai Ports World has just offered to alter its management structure until the review is completed. “The company said that during the renewed scrutiny, or until May 1, a London-based executive who is a British citizen would have authority over DP World’s U.S. operations. It pledged that Dubai executives would not control or influence company business in the U.S., but said it was entitled to all profits during the period.”
2. If the outcome is different, Dubai Ports World said it may sue. “In the legal papers sent to the White House, DP World said it would abide by the outcome of the lengthier review but indicated it could sue if the results were any different.”
3. The administration has already made up their mind. Unless Congress has a role, it’s meaningless. “[Sen. Chuck] Schumer said Congress should have a chance after the review to approve or reject the administration’s decision. ‘If the report is completed and kept secret and only given to the president, who has already come out for the deal, it will not reassure Americans,’ Schumer said.”
Reasonable people can disagree about whether it makes sense to have the UAE run operations at U.S. ports. But the proposed ‘compromise’ is fundamentally dishonest.