The Politics of CFIUS Through the Lens of the Dubai Ports World Deal

Thu, Jan 11, 2024 | 10:00 am EST

On Thursday, January 11 at 10:00 A.M. ET, The Capitol Forum’s Teddy Downey will talk with former Congressman Tom Downey and former State Department official Jonathan Winer about CFIUS politics.

In 2006, political backlash against Dubai Ports World’s efforts to purchase control of six American ports led to the firm ultimately selling off the assets to a U.S. company.

The story of what happened in the Dubai Ports World controversy has become a textbook example of how political intervention can weigh in on the CFIUS process and scuttle deals.

Dubai Ports World, in 2005, turned to former Congressman Tom Downey, a lobbyist at Downey McGrath, to help shepherd the deal through the political turmoil.

In this conversation, we’ll hear Congressman Downey retell his experience working on the Dubai Ports Deal and how political critics ultimately won the day. We’ll also hear from former State Department official Jonathan Winer for more detailed analysis of how the CFIUS process has evolved since then.

The conversation will help shed light on the political risks facing Japan’s Nippon Steel’s efforts to purchase U.S. Steel, which President Joe Biden recently said deserves “serious scrutiny.”

Speaker Bios

Attorney, lobbyist and former Congressman Tom Downey served as a U.S. Representative for New York’s 2nd congressional district from 1975 to 1993. He holds a B.S. from Cornell University and a Juris Doctor from the Washington College of Law of American University.

Jonathan Winer has been the United States Special Envoy for Libya, the deputy assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement, and counsel to United States Senator John Kerry. He has written and lectured widely on U.S. Middle East policy, counter-terrorism, international money laundering, illicit networks, corruption, and U.S.-Russia issues.


Tom Downey

Former Congressman

Jonathan Winer

Former State Department Official

Teddy Downey

Executive Editor and CEO, The Capitol Forum

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