David Sirota continues to report on the Oman Free Trade Agreement that prompted my post here. In his latest post on this agreement, Sirota directs our attention to an apparent loophole in the act that would (again) place our ports on the global shopping block (re: Dubai Port Deal).
Sirota says, ”Three Democrats and one Republican held an emergency press conference today (Tuesday, 7/18/06) to expose the provisions just before the House is scheduled to vote on the Oman pact on Thursday. As Reuters reports, "Rep. John Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat who serves on the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee, said the pact would allow companies such as Dubai Ports World to acquire U.S. port operations by establishing a shell company in Oman." Those provisions might also allow foreign ownership of other key national security assets, considering just after the recent Dubai Ports controversy, that country went ahead with plans to purchase a major U.S. defense contractor.”
According to Rep. Murtha, ”If Dubai Ports World set up in Oman and then attempts to acquire a U.S. port operation and Congress intervenes ... (the Oman-U.S. Free Trade Agreement) would empower Dubai Ports World to drag the United States before UN or World Bank tribunals to demand we compensate the firm…” Murtha was joined at the press conference by fellow Democrat, Michael Michaud of Maine and North Carolina Republican, Walter Jones. Michaud added, ”It's bad enough that we're asked to support agreements that would shift more jobs overseas ... but it is simply unacceptable to ask Congress to support legislation that would essentially undermine the security of our nation…”
Obviously, the administration and Congressional “Free Traders” would have us believe that the odds of this type of action actually occurring are almost non-existent. However, when you look at the anti-labor and anti-environmental aspects of this pact and add this potential undermining of National Security, I suggest that the risks far outweigh the gains.
The Senate already passed their version of this act (with the support of our own Maria Cantwell). The House vote is set to occur on Thursday (tomorrow!). Contact your member of Congress and tell them to vote NO on the Oman Free Trade Agreement.
Chad (The Left) Shue
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Cross posted Here
Posted by Chad Shue at 8:39 AM