Liberal politicians, led by Senator Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton, were rushing to the microphones to denounce the proposed deal turning over some U.S. port operations to a firm owned by the United Arab Emirates. Justifiable public outrage forced cancellation of the deal. But the issue is an old one, and conservative Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma has been trying for years to reform the process under which foreign takeovers in the U.S. are rejected or approved. Inhofe is the Senator who should be getting the press attention on this matter. He was saying the right things before it was politically popular.
Inhofe, no Johnny-come-lately to the issue, is the Senator who worked to block the Clinton Administration deal to turn over management of a 144-acre terminal at the former U.S. Naval Station in Long Beach to the China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), a subsidiary of the People’s Liberation Army.
Isn’t it interesting that our media failed to ask Senator Hillary Clinton about this when she joined efforts to block the UAE deal? Such questions might suggest that Mrs. Clinton is a politically motivated hypocrite.
On the House side, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) led the opposition to the COSCO and UAE deals. He has been entirely consistent.
In opposing the sale of port operations to the UAE firm, Sen. Inhofe points out, “If any of you hear Democrats exploiting this issue like it is something new, their historical hypocrisy is obvious.” He points out that, under the Clinton Administration, “the UAE could do no wrong” and that Clinton sold $8 billion worth of F-16s, anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles, and other advanced weapons to the regime. He said this was one year after the Clinton Administration had located Osama bin Laden in a camp in Afghanistan but called off an air strike against him because he was in the company of high UAE officials.
Inhofe delivered several speeches in April 2005 protesting the process under which the Committee on Foreign Investments of the U.S. (CFIUS) had approved China buying the U.S. company Magnequench, Inc., and moving it back to China.
We had discussed this dangerous acquisition in our February 28, 2005, AIM Report on “The China Threat.”
Inhofe noted that because of the Magnequench deal, the U.S. now has no domestic supplier of rare earth metals that are critical in making precision-guided munitions.
In 2005 Inhofe introduced the Foreign Investment Security Act to reform the process. He’s the Senator the media should be paying attention to. He saw the problem early on and has a solution.