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Friday, March 10, 2006

economic nationalism, or how to screw your friends

Bill Bonner writing in today's LRC has this to say regarding the House vote to bar Dubai Ports World from contracting to run U.S. ports:
The votes are in...the House Appropriations Committee voted 62-2 to bar Dubai Ports World, a United Arab Emirates–backed company, from holding contracts at U.S. ports.

"This is a national security issue," said Rep. Jerry Lewis, the chairman of the House panel, adding that the legislation would, "keep American ports in American hands."

Well, as patriotic as that sounds, the London-based Peninsular & Oriental Navigation Company previously owned the five U.S. ports in question. Last we checked, London was in Great Britain, not America. And what about the other foreign-operated shipping terminals in the United States? China already runs a terminal at the Port of Los Angeles and Singapore runs terminals in Oakland...are we going to shut those down?

Another major detail the House seems to have conveniently overlooked – the UAE are our allies. U.S. Navy ships call at the port of Dubai, and the U.S. Air Force uses UAE airfields to launch missions into Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, the UAE donated $100 million to Katrina relief – more than four times all other countries contribution combined.

"The lopsided House committee vote shows that the bull market in economic nationalism rolls on," says Chris Mayer.

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