The already nonsensical story regarding the the sale of British company P&O to Dubai based DP World has just veered over into full scale madness. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the quasi-state body which actually operates the ports in the NY/NJ area, has now filed suit to block the sale.
Lets step through the sequence of events here. In 2000 P&O and the Port Authority signed a 30 year lease, under which P&O would take over certain aspects of running the PA's ports. More details here.
P&O have now agreed to be bought out by DP World, one of the largest port management companies in the world.
The Port Authority has decided that the proposed deal "deprived the port authority of the "right to conduct a thorough review of its purchase," thereby violating certain "safeguards for the protection of persons and property" surrounding the facility."
It's astonishing that it is only at this late date that the the states of New York and New Jersey are getting involved in the matter. After all, they are the ones who are most effected by the proposed sale, and they are also the ones who outsourced these operations in the first place. It is hard to believe that the deal has progressed this far without the Port Authority signing off on it. I suspect that, in the unlikely event that any serious reporting is done, we will find that the PA did in fact agree to this sale, or at least failed to raise any prior objections.
The proposed lawsuit here looks very much like an admission that the PA ought not to be outsourcing this work abroad in the first place.
One concept which has apparently gone over the heads of almost all the pundits who have covered this story is that the ports in the United States are not actually the property of the Federal government. They are owned and operated by the cities and states in which they are located. This being so, the sole responsibility for outsourcing port operations lies with the cities and states in question. It is a relief that some acknowledgment of that basic fact is beginning to dawn on people, although I expect that the MSM presentation of the subject will continue to reflect the "Bush administration sells nations ports to Arab terrorists" meme.