Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Failure of the DP World ports deal could damage foreign investments in the US

... not to mention foreign relations in general, during a time where building and keeping allies has been somethiing this administration has been (unjustly) criticized for in the past.

BBC -- Treasury Secretary John Snow said US firms risked being excluded from other markets if the US gave the impression that foreign investment was unwelcome.

[...] Mr Snow promised to work with Congress to more effectively scrutinise foreign investment deals, emphasising that national security concerns would remain paramount when considering such deals.

However, he stressed that US security and economic interests should not be seen as being in conflict.

"Clearly the US people stand to lose a great deal if investment stops flowing into the US from willing investors," he said.

Some trade experts have warned that Dubai Ports World's decision to sell key US assets in the face of political opposition could deter other Middle Eastern firms from setting up operations in the US.

A senior banking official in the United Arab Emirates said on Monday that the outcome of Dubai Ports World saga could damage free trade.

The UAE and the US are currently trying to conclude a broad trade agreement, although talks have been put on hold.

If security concerns were allowed to stifle foreign investment in the US, Mr Snow warned, US firms could suffer elsewhere.

True, it could come off as the hard-nosed image we want when staring down Iran, playing nuclear chicken, but that's not the attitude to take with an ally. You can't refuse to do business with them simply because they're Arab.