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Worries escalate over sale of U.S. port operations to Arab firm

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Ironbarr, Feb 18, 2006.

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  1. Ironbarr

    Ironbarr Member In Memoriam

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    First the Chinese lease the naval base @ Long Beach for shipping, then do a deal with Panama to "manage" the Panama Canal; now our ports go to Arabs.

    When are we going to stop giving ourselves the shaft?

    http://www.wtkr.com/Global/story.asp?S=4521896
     
  2. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    It seems Andy - never! :mad:

    So much now is outsourced and placed in hands of non-Americans - it is quite sickening. And what does our own one puny vote do to counter it? - zilch. It is depressing beyond description.
     
  3. wingman

    wingman Member

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    The selling of America it is sad, greed/power and a continued loss of
    freedom.
     
  4. Ironbarr

    Ironbarr Member In Memoriam

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    Chris, maybe soon they'll get around to outsourcing the House, then Senate and SCOTUS to separate managements (until they later merge), and then outsource the POTUS to the UN and whomever is the resident honcho at the time.

    I'll tell you, son... sooner or later, as history shows, every "successful" outfit bites the dust. And it usually starts by turning a bit soft and rancid within.

    I surely hate the possibility of tossing all this current mess to the grandkids. They are going have to grow up ahead of their time.

    Frankly, I believe that it's going to take a very strong - commanding if you will - leader to change the trend, and some powerful personal restraints to not take uberadvantage of the power seat.

    I don't see anything but business as usual on the political horizon - at least not yet.

    -AndyB
     
  5. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Er, uh, 'scuse me? London-based P&O doesn't seem to me to be a US company.

    FWIW, P&O is an old-time company. Dates back to the sailing ship days. Maybe they're going broke, for all I know, as so many others have. Maybe the Dubai outfit thinks they can make a profit, I don't know.

    But it ain't out-sourcing.

    Art
     
  6. Ironbarr

    Ironbarr Member In Memoriam

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    Art, maybe so - but ownership usually equals control. Guess I'm not comfortable with these "arrangements".
     
  7. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    According to my source, no U.S. company bid on the project or they most certainly would have won.
     
  8. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Ironbarr, I certainly have no objection to the security personnel being US citizens who have been thoroughly vetted.

    The workforce will still be the same longshoreman's union folks. Regardless of ownership, that's the arena for concern.

    One of the reasons for the development of cargo containers was to stop pilferage of breakbulk cargo. (Remember the old movies, where boxes of cargo were stacked on a net and then the bundle was swung over the side? I saw that in real life, 56 years ago. Not done that way anymore.) Dockworkers have always been a problem.

    Art
     
  9. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    I think the whole ugly business is symbolic: America is rapidly turning into a shipping address, not a country. The United States of America is becoming The Mall of America.

    You don't hand over strategic interests to foreign powers, however obliquely. In a time of war this goes beyond the foolish to the morbidly self-destructive.

    The globalists want America dismembered and disarmed. Little by little it's happening.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2006
  10. miconoakisland

    miconoakisland Member

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    Art's right!

    As Art said earlier, it was a United Kingdom company in the first place!

    The ports in question were foreign owned to begin with!

    With big business conglomerations, just because the ownership changes, the day-to-day operations don't.

    Don't cry that American ports are owned by foreigners after one foreign country sells it to another when no American company would buy it!

    The guidelines set up by OUR government allow ownership of businesses by foreign owners if these guidelines are adhered to and can be denied ONLY if these guidelines aren't adhered to.

    Traditionally, port facilities lose more money than they take in, hence the sale by the British company. American companies realize this. UAE companies have oil money to spare and blow. What better way to ingratiate oneself as a strategic ally in the volitile region of the Middle East! "We pay millions to operate your ports, you are now obligated to act as our military, at our whim!"

    A dangerous, yet not a historically unique, concept.
     
  11. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    This story about the Feds going after the dockworkers union might be relevant, doing a clean sweep and avoiding involvement of corrupted American companies. I searched on "dockworkers union".

    http://www.thelaborers.net/ila/nytimes_us_plans_suit.htm

    It's ironic that some think we are giving up control, as if we had it.
     
  12. shermacman

    shermacman Member

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    The UAE company paid the British company 6.8 billion American dollars. Now, if the UAE wants to gain foothold in the US to destroy the US there has to be a cheaper way. And if they want to destroy the US why would they invest any money in our physical infrastructure? This is a business deal.

    However, the fact that the government of the UAE has the following positions:
    1) The Taliban was the legitimate government of Afghanistan
    2) Israel has no right to exist
    is probably reason enough to have squelched the deal. The other concerning issue is was this an open bid? Did other companies have the ability to enter into the pre-sale competition?
     
  13. Ironbarr

    Ironbarr Member In Memoriam

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    I'm marking the quote below for reply, but first a caveat: I am less than versed in the world of corporate "ownership" of property, real or personal, nor in the affairs of transport, handling and stowage of goods, nor the privilege(s) and/or restriction(s) of government on the import/export/transport fields.

    I do monitor some activities in the "news" and other sources - sometimes acutely, often slightly. Either way, I form opinions based on my life's adventure. Whether my opinions have merit - or not - is left to those who know of them.

    So far, no one has offered anything substantial for my opinions. :( .......... :)

    Agreed.

    a. The "management" is owned? b. Or the real estate and equipage? c. The payroll and expenses? d. All of the above?

    It seems to me that if the real estate/equipage is owned all of that could be sold off & the company closed. This would shut down the port(s) involved.

    "Mis"management of fiscal responsibilities - will shut down the port(s) involved.

    There is also the labor union - I wouldn't expect Dubai leadership to be in superlative agreement with labor/management concepts. Strikes or lock-outs will shut down the ports involved.


    Please re-read (2) above.


    I have no information regarding efforts (or not) of American buyers.


    I heard a talking head say that our government limits ownership by a foreign company to 25%. I have no idea what that means in the practical, every day, sense. I do know that "money talks and ... walks.


    Now there's a rub... maybe The Rub. Where in the world might I find a business plan that suggests the investment of some $6,800,000,000 's in an enterprise that has a history of negative cash flow, depreciating facilities, re-occurring labor demands, and financial losses due to damages, pilferage and muted insurance payouts - among other things?

    Why would anyone (but government, perhaps) invest in such an enterprise? My only answer is Power. The power to shut down the ports involved - which can shut down a national economy - which can shut down the nation - which can make the nation defenseless against "other events".


    Agreed.

    A very dangerous concept - and not to be dismissed so easily as "business as usual".

    miconoakisland - Thanks for giving me the impetus I needed to spout off. :)

    -AndyB

    PS - I've used an hour or so to create this wordy and verbose tome, I hope it hasn't yet been superceded by more lucid minds.
     
  14. wingman

    wingman Member

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    I think this statement is key to modern America, sell to highest bidder no matter the results for our country. :cuss: If they can't beat us in battle go to our weak point, greed.
     
  15. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Ironbarr, as far as any deliberate shutting down of the ports, go back a bit in history. Check out the fuss between John L. Lewis of the coal miners vs. Harry Truman of the White House.

    Truman won.

    It wouldn't take the White House 15 minutes to get the ports open. That stipulates the "Want to", of course.

    Again, the only real issue is security against import of Evil Stuff. That's as possible now as it would be with any ownership. Really, it's up to the owner/leasor of the ship. Offloading is done by the union, and inspections by U.S. Customs. I'm ignorant of other aspects of port security, such as harbor patrol, etc..

    Art
     
  16. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    You think maybe there might have been some arm-twisting behind the scenes regarding who bid and who didn't? Friendly, of course. I rub your back, you rub mine. We're supposed to believe this is really a "competitive" process? Is that why it's carried out in secret by a committee few of us had ever heard of?

    Who sets the guidelines? Who does the vetting? How deeply do they probe? And who does the probing? If, say, the White House says "Okay this deal," you think the investigative work goes on, in real depth?

    Folks, let's get real.

    ]'d say $7 billion is mere chickenfeed to get control of six major U.S. ports. How many trillions of dollars are really at stake in our global conflict? And it's not really about money to the radical Islamists anyway? Haven't we learned that yet?
     
  17. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    The premise of free trade is that rational people will have less interest to "attack" if their own interests are involved.

    Rational people, operating by Enlightenment values.

    There's the rub.

    More and more America looks like a once-great power, vast in size, that is losing sight of what made it strong. Greed is a major element in this. Fecklessness another. We will look like India in 25 years, and India will look the way we once did.

    Prepare your children to be good houseboys and domestics.
     
  18. Robert J McElwain

    Robert J McElwain Member

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    If we're saying that foreign companies shouldn't own US businesses, shouldn't we also say that US businesses shouldn't own companies in China, Japan, Korea, Dubai etc?

    The fact is, we do. General Motors and Ford each own automobile companies in Europe, Japan and Korea. We own refining facilities in Dubai. We own all kinds of companies all over the world. And this is one of the greatest bulwarks we have for preventing major wars. Our financial interests don't want us destroying their assets in other countries.

    Bob
     
  19. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    Fox News:

    "The two companies involved in the $6.8 billion sale agreed that U.S. government approval is required for the deal to go through. Chertoff said the review by the 12-member CFIUS, which is chaired by Treasury Secretary John Snow and involves members from the departments of Defense, Justice, Commerce, State and Homeland Security, was done in secret with no congressional oversight.

    Chertoff said Congress is welcome to look into the sale in classified briefings.

    "Without getting into the specifics of this particular classified discussion, I can tell you that the process is designed for Congress to be rigorous and to make sure we properly take into the account of security when we approve any transaction," he said."

    Where are the surveillance cams when we need them???

    Anyone want to imagine the conversation that went on among John Snow and the 11 Snowmen?
     
  20. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    You're right. I suggest American companies run China's ports and provide security for the Russians and oversee the narco-trade in Mexico...oh, wait a minute, scratch that last one, already there.

    The issue is WHICH U.S. businesses. There's a right time, a right place, a right deal. Wise leadership, uncorrupted, would grasp that.
     
  21. asknight

    asknight Member

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    Wouldn't you think that the US Govt would need a scapegoat in the event that disaster did strike through our ports? If the US Govt itself was directly responsible for port security and operations, and a dirty nuke or whatver made it through security inspections who would be responsible? Our own Govt, of course. This is a liability-limiting measure at the least, and promoting treason, at worst.
     
  22. Lambo

    Lambo Member

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    Note; This is first thing I believe Baltimore's Mayor Martin O'Malley has gotten correct. This man is a committed Socialist!!! Go figure:what:

    Deal affecting port upsets mayor
    Government of United Arab Emirates would have influence on some operations
    By Julie Bell
    Sun Reporter
    Originally published February 19, 2006


    Mayor Martin O'Malley joined yesterday the growing number of politicians condemning a business deal that would put a company controlled by the United Arab Emirates in charge of running certain port operations in Baltimore and a handful of other U.S. cities.

    "It's outrageous and irresponsible to turn over a port to any foreign government," O'Malley said during a chilly, outdoor news conference in Canton, where port buildings were visible across the harbor.

    O'Malley, a Democratic candidate for governor, sharply criticized the Bush administration for signing off on the deal. Dubai Ports World would acquire London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. (P&O) for a reported $6.8 billion. P&O, which is not controlled by the British government, oversees container cargo operations at the publicly owned Seagirt and Dundalk marine terminals here.

    The deal would give Dubai Ports World certain port operations in New York, Newark, N.J., Philadelphia, Miami and New Orleans. A company at the Miami port is suing to block the takeover there, the Associated Press reported.

    Members of Congress from several states have asked the Bush administration to review its approval of the deal. Last week, White House spokesman Scott McClellan defended the administration's "rigorous review" of proposed foreign investments for national security concerns.

    O'Malley said his opposition is not related to the fact Dubai Ports World is based in an Arab nation, saying he would oppose control of a U.S. port by any foreign government. But he noted that though the United Arab Emirates is a U.S. ally, it also was one of a handful of governments to officially recognize Afghanistan's former Taliban government, and he expressed concern about the country being "a key transfer point" for nuclear components on their way to North Korea, Libya and Iran, as was reported in The Washington Post.

    O'Malley, who said he would try to rally opposition among U.S. mayors, was joined at the news conference by state Del. Brian K. McHale, a Baltimore Democrat and longshoreman, and U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, whose congressional district includes the port of Baltimore. Ruppersberger has called for congressional hearings on the proposed sale.

    It was unclear yesterday, however, what power the three politicians and others have to review the deal. P&O's shareholders agreed to it last week. And the acquisition was approved by a U.S. Treasury Department-headed panel that vets security concerns when foreign companies invest in U.S. industry. The committee's approval would be withdrawn only if it finds one of the companies submitted false or incomplete information, a department spokeswoman said.

    The terminals where Dubai would have a contract to handle container work here are overseen by the Maryland Port Administration. The Maryland Port Commission, an associated body, also has the ability to review the deal, McHale said, but he didn't think it would have the wherewithal to conduct a thorough investigation.

    "They need to stand up as well," O'Malley said of the Maryland Port Administration. "They should not be rolling over."

    Democratic Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Robert Menendez of New Jersey introduced legislation last week to prohibit any foreign-owned company from buying U.S. port operations. Other politicians who have voiced concerns about the deal include Republican Sens. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, and Democratic Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes of Maryland.
     
  23. Ironbarr

    Ironbarr Member In Memoriam

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    More...

    Chertoff to ABC:
    http://www.wtkr.com/Global/story.asp?S=4523226

    I wonder if the Emirs, et al, gave him those "assurances".

    I also wonder if Roosevelt would have found it "appropriate" for the Vichy French to have "managed" these ports.

    -AndyB
     
  24. Waitone

    Waitone Member

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    The nightmare scenario is a nuclear device greasing a US city. The most likely means of delivering a nuclear device to a US city is via ship in some port. The threat of UAE ownership is poo-poo'd by saying US assets will actually controlling the port and its security. At some point in the food chain the UAE company management will intersect US security interests. That is where the trouble will occur.

    We in the US avoided a nuclear war with the soviet union only by the smallest of margins. The US was able to take bold action because of the actions of a Soviet general name Pentkosvski (pardon the butcher job on his name). He was feeding information to both the US and Brits detailing weaknesses in soviet capabilities and strategy. His information was absolutely critical in letting the US know where to push and where not to push. The good general saved the world from a free form nuclear exchange. He was caught by the soviets and was fed into a furnace alive.

    My understanding of history precludes me from support incredibly boneheaded, idiotic, and counter productive actions a deluded administration wants to take. Bush has once again screwed the pooch. He will be bitchslapped for this particular boner as he was bitchslapped for Meiers' nomination. The American public may be distracted, self-absorbed, and fat, but we are not stupid. Bush's actions here and a few other actions demonstrates his contempt for his fellow countrymen. What makes this particular boner so interesting is it provides a window into the process that permits illegal border crossings to be encouraged in spite of wild public support to get rough. :fire:
     
  25. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    +1!

    The winning hand, politically, in the next two elections will be nationalism. Bush is throwing the Dems a soft one right over the middle of the plate. Maybe it's a Texas change-up but I don't think so.

    Does hubris cause the kind of brain pharts that makes a leader not recognize that secret committee deals threatening national security--while he himself constantly reminds us "we are at war"--are unacceptable? It's either that, an obsession with obfuscation, or money changing hands in back rooms.
     
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