Dubai or not Dubai?: A Review of Foreign Investment and Acquisition Laws in the U.S. and Canada
The proposed purchase of a British company that controlled several ports in the United States by Dubai Ports World could accurately be described as one of the most politically contentious acquisitions in U.S. history. The transaction raised questions not only about U.S. foreign investment laws but provoked national security concerns, as well. Similar issues were raised more recently during the acquisition of a share in Nasdaq by the Dubai stock exchange. In the same vein, Canada has seen similar issues arise during recent transactions involving domestic companies—most notably the acquisition of PrimeWest Energy by TAQA, the national energy company of Abu Dhabi. This Note attempts to address the efficacy of the foreign investment laws of both the U.S. and Canada in light of the political disputes that have surrounded a number of transactions in recent years. The Note concludes that the best result for both countries would be to maintain rigorous review standards while also establishing a climate favorable to foreign investment. To this end, this Note suggests the creation of Conciliation Committee, a bi-partisan legislative committee that would act as a mediator between the government and the parties to a contentious deal to ensure that all sides are satisfied and that the deal will ultimately go through.