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2006-02-24 19:27:37.210115+00 by Dan Lyke 11 comments

A few folks, including Polly, have emailed me stuff about The UAE running our ports deal that's currently being re-examined. Given that The Whitehouse is already run by the Saudis, I'm not all that averse to our critical infrastructure being controlled by companies that are critically intertwined with ...

Well, anyway, what I really meant to say is that what bothers me about this is more that we've allowed our economic system to degrade to the point that it's more reasonable to outsource port management than to do it in house. It has to be profitable, otherwise people with enough money that they jump Lamborghini's for fun wouldn't be investing in it, but it's running a shipping (literally) and receiving operation. Why don't we have that knowledge here in the U.S.?

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2006-02-24 19:37:18.735019+00 by: baylink

That video's astroturf; I can't believe that it represents what the blogger says it does. Looks staged to *me*...

#Comment Re: made: 2006-02-24 19:58:26.621238+00 by: Diane Reese

Ski Dubai.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-02-24 20:00:11.062383+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, it's also alleged to be Dubai and not the UAE...

#Comment Re: made: 2006-02-25 17:32:20.640816+00 by: Dan Lyke

Slate on what a port operator does. Now I'm really confused as to why we outsource this. What's wrong with the economic structure of this country that we don't have these skills here?

#Comment Re: made: 2006-02-27 00:45:46.12393+00 by: polly

we do have the skills. there might be a few who need "professional development", but the experience is here in the u.s.a. did "w" get his palm greased or got a deal he couldn't refuse? someone's back getting scratched?

what i read on slate's article does not sound like rocket science but good old straight forward computer technology and strong management skills. obviously we are doing this now, what gives UAE an edge other than already doing port management elsewhere?

you cannot convince me that the saudis are not up to their asses and eyeballs in terrorist bull****! how can they be "trusted" to not bring it here?

#Comment Re: made: 2006-02-27 23:59:37.827632+00 by: Larry Burton

From what I'm reading Dubai Ports World has a lot of executives from the US. One ex-executive with the company, David Sanborn, was named by Bush last month to head the U.S. Maritime Administration. See here. It looks more like a global company to me that just happens to be owned by the Sultan of Dubai.

We aren't necessarily outsourcing this work, the municipalities are letting contracts to the best bid. Current free trade regulations prevent the municipalites from restricting those bidding to domestic companies only. Look for the WTO to be involved if congress tries to pass legislation to break the contracts.

What Dubai Ports World does isn't much different than what any distribution management company does.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-02-28 00:11:12.462708+00 by: Dan Lyke

Larry, the further I look into this the less argument I have with your points. Yeah, they're a reasonable company to hire for the job. I just wonder what it is about distribution management that makes whatever company knowledge and culture they've developed valuable, and wonder why those things weren't developed in the U.S.

It's "outsourced" in the sense that it's apparently cheaper to do with a company hosted by Dubai. Given that, as you point out, many of the employees come from the U.S., it seems to me to boil down to something about the investment climate in Dubai being different from that in the U.S.; whatever capital is necessary to run a business like this is easier to come by over there.

That makes me wonder if they're just okay with investing more conservatively, or if not, what the other economic issues are.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-02-28 03:48:30.71342+00 by: baylink

"controlled by the goverment of Dubai."

I'm already not pleased about the fact that a German company controls the major manufacturer of US *tanks*. (Chrysler *is* still the prime contractor on the M1A1, right?)

And then they want Arnie for President.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-08 22:21:29.068206+00 by: Mark A. Hershberger


"Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff yesterday said the proposed takeover of terminal operations at five U.S. ports by a Dubai company would give U.S. law enforcement a better handle on security at U.S. terminal operations."

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-08 22:39:19.898346+00 by: Dan Lyke

Given that I had my insurance company call me today to ask if I was a U.S. Citizen because of some requirement of the "Patriot" act, I'm loathe to believe anything that any of the current administration tells me.

Not terribly against this ports deal, although I see it as a symptom of deeper problems, but Chertoff seems like he's reaching a bit there.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-09 01:32:48.120468+00 by: Mark A. Hershberger

Dan, like you I'm "not terribly against this ports deal" but I really don't trust Chertoff. I just think it is interesting that this Admin tries to scare us anytime things don't go exactly its way.