Bill Reinsch offers testimony before the House Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade, and Technology.
WASHINGTON, DC – National Foreign Trade Council President Bill Reinsch today again expressed the group’s support for the Administration decision to allow United Arab Emirate-owned Dubai Ports World to acquire a company responsible for operations in six American ports.
Emphasizing the importance the American business community places on port security, Reinsch drew the Subcommittee’s attention to the historic role of foreign-owned businesses in American port operations.
“Port terminal operations have been substantially foreign-owned for some time without complaint. It appears that the problem this time is not with foreigners in general but with specific foreigners,” Reinsch stated. He then characterized this differentiation as a very negative message to U.S. allies in the Middle East.
“Those who oppose this acquisition are implying that it doesn’t matter if you cooperate with us on fighting terrorism and on other matters; it doesn’t matter if you are negotiating a free trade agreement with us; it doesn’t even matter if you have donated $100 million to Katrina relief as the UAE has; we’re going to treat you as a terrorist-supporting nation anyway.”
Shifting his focus to CFIUS reform proposals, Reinsch described the current system as both effective and appropriate. “The United States has historically followed – and benefited greatly from – an open investment policy. The CFIUS process was created to permit government intervention for compelling national security reasons. Congress wisely chose to insulate the process from politics and publicity both because of the sensitivity of the data about an acquisition the government would be obtaining and because of the sensitivity surrounding any national security issues that were identified and any solutions proposed to address them.” He went on to discuss the merit of individual reform proposals and concluded by cautioning that changing the CFIUS approach should only be undertaken with the greatest care.