“If we reject the company in terms of doing the [ports] work, they are going to lose a lot of face. In the Arab culture, losing face is a big deal,” a former government official said. “We risk losing that help. It is not an empty threat.”
“The Emirates Group airline will decide later this year whether it will buy Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner or its competitor, Airbus A350. The airline last fall placed an order worth $9.7 billion for 42 Boeing 777 aircraft, making Dubai Boeing’s largest 777 customer.”
“Any repercussion to Boeing could put House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) in a delicate position. Boeing’s decision to move its headquarters to Chicago has been seen as calculated to facilitate a close relationship with Hastert. He is against the ports deal, and his office did not return calls by press time.”
Some people contend “that because the ports deal is a national-security issue blocking it would not be in violation of World Trade Agreement rules.” This doesn’t sound right to me. Couldn’t the Dubai government reply that it was more than willing to resolve these issues? What happened to the 45 day period which would have allowed Dubai World Ports to present its side of the case? Don’t we owe them that much? Can a nation willy-nilly employ the excuse of “national security” without being penalized by the World Trade Organization?
I am going to make a bold prediction. The Dubai World Ports agreement will ultimately be approved. What, am I some sort of crazy person? Didn’t the company officially pull out? I suspect the devil is in the details. It only said that it would turn over the managerial functions over to an American firm. There is a major problem with this option: there are no companies in the United States ready to handle these responsibilities! And especially to do so profitably. We are going to see all hell break out in the next few days. The majority of the American public can be persuaded that this deal is not a security threat. Much of its fear and outrage was based on bigotry and misinformation. These decent Americans will soon start to feel ashamed of themselves.