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Oman-US "free" trade agreement

The Bush administration is attempting an end-run around massive popular opposition to the Dubai Ports deal by way of another so-called "free" trade agreement. The proposed fast-track trade agreement would allow companies such as Dubai Ports World to acquire U.S. port operations by establishing a small shell company in Oman - evading a block by Congress preventing Dubai Ports World from acquiring U.S. port operations. (Congress effectively stopped the deal earlier this year in response to massive public opposition during an election year.)
From Washington Post, via Kucinich Forums:

"Stop Oman-US "free" trade agreement!"


< 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.

< "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" for lost profits, Murtha said.

< Dubai Ports World, based in Oman's neighbor the United Arab Emirates, had to abandon its planned purchase of terminal operation rights at major U.S. ports earlier this year after it ignited a political firestorm in the United States.

< Rep. Walter Jones, a North Carolina Republican, and three Democratic House members joined Murtha at a news conference to express concern about the Omani agreement. The five lawmakers have a history of voting against free trade agreements on the grounds that they cost American jobs.

< "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," said Rep. Michael Michaud, a Maine Democrat.>>>

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