Some Highlights from Larry Summers's Resignation Letter

Dan Drezner Defends the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company

Dan Drezner defends the Bush administration's willingness to allow the UAE-OWNED P&O to buy U.S. ports: the FBI and CFIUS have approved it--and they to err on the side of preventing foreigners from buying U.S. businesses where national security is concerned. This is one of the few occasions where the Bush administration appears to be on the side of the angels: :: Daniel W. Drezner :: What's the big deal about the port deal? : I can certainly see why there's some political controversy about a firm owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates helping to run ports on the Eastern seaboard -- but after reading this Christian Science Monitor story by Alexandra Marks, I don't think there's any real basis for the kind of outrage I'm seeing....

P&O is not commenting on the political uproar over the deal. But a source within the company worries that the media and politicians are misrepresenting the arrangements. Other who work within the port communities agree. They note that P&O will not be "managing" the ports, as many news organizations have reported. Instead, the company is one of many that leases terminals at the port. "I've never quite seen a story so distorted so quickly," says Esther de Ipolyi, a public-relations executive who works with the port of Houston. "It's like I go to an apartment building that has 50 apartments, and I rent an apartment. This does not mean I took over the management of the whole building."...

[A]ll the facts were reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS) earlier in the month. People aren't upset that there's been a review -- they're upset because there's been a review and the outcome is one they disagree with on a gut level.... There's been a lot of hot air in the blogosphere on this -- and even hotter air from the United States Senate and local politicians -- but I haven't seen anything approaching a rational, reality-based argument against this deal.