No Foreigners Need Apply: Ratner's Port Rant

Ellen Ratner has nailed a 'No Foreigners Need Apply' sign to the Statue of Liberty. On this morning's Fox & Friends Weekend, Ratner opined that no foreign company, regardless of nationality, should operate our ports, or for that matter other significant chunks of our economy.

Claimed Ratner, the real issue is "what kind of jobs, what kind of outsourcing are we going to do in this country?"

When fellow "Long & the Short of It" guest Jim Pinkerton said that foreign policy considerations [such as the potential relevance of the port deal to our ability to get intelligence and site bases in the Middle East] are more important than who gets port jobs, Ratner replied skeptically "is it?" Apparently for Ratner, the ability of the longshoremen's union to place a favored few of its own is more important than our country's national security objectives.

When host Page Hopkins suggested that the debate had become muddled because people didn't understand that the UAE company wouldn't have responsibility for port security, Ratner steered things back to her anti-globalization polemic:

"I don't think that is the issue: the issue is where do we outsource who owns airplanes, railroads, all those kind of things."

Hopkins: "Are we going to cherry pick and hold Arabs to different standards?"

Ratner:

"No, no, I would feel the same way, when I realized that Britain was running the ports I felt the same way. It has nothing to do with the Arab situation. It has to do with what are we outsourcing - who owns what in America?"

Hopkins: "But if we stop all foreign investment?, where will that leave us?"

Ratner: "We have outsourced everything [sic] and now our standard of living as statistics show this week has gone down."

Pinkerton, while expressing his own concerns about the ports deal and advocating a thorough vetting during the 45-day delay, scored this point: "It doesn't hurt our standard of living to allow foreigners to invest $8 billion in the US."

But Ratner couldn't be budged from her xenophobia:

"We don't allow our radio stations to be owned by foreign investment. There are certain things we don't allow. It has nothing to do with whether they're Arabs or Canadians or British. The fact is there are certain industries we're keep in America and we're not doing that and that's a big problem."

Continued the suddenly jingoistic Ratner: "Why don't we have American companies owning some ports in China or Dubai or anywhere else? Why has American business given up on this? We're a strong country. We ought to be owning ports."

Ellen Ratner and Patrick Buchanan - who knew?

Finkelstein lives in Ithaca, NY where he hosts the award-winning public access show 'Right Angle.' Email him at: mark@gunhill.net

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.