The Dubai Ports World acquisition of Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. closed in London last week. Both companies operate port terminals all over the world. DP World is controlled by the government of Dubai, one of the United Arab Emirates, and P&O is based in London.
Only 10 percent or so of the P&O business is located in the United States. It operates terminals at five American ports, including New York and New Orleans. The purchase of the American operations ignited a grassroots bushfire that enveloped Washington, D.C. Irate callers clogged the lines of radio talk show hosts and then of their congressmen.