Sunday, September 30, 2007

Call to action: Huawei and 3Com

Just below this post is my open letter to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) on Huawei Technologies' attempt to partially buy out 3Com. To say this is a danger is a tremendous understatement. Irwin Stelzer (Weekly Standard) has all the details; for anyone wondering how troubling this is, keep in mind that Stelzer is an economist, and an avid free-trader to boot. Yet not only does he recognie the national security issues, he wisely has it trump everything else:
One can only hope that Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson reads up on his Adam Smith, no protectionist he. Smith warned that when national security is at stake, free trade takes a distant second place as a national priority. The great Scot is, as usual, as relevant to our day as he was when he wrote The Wealth of Nations 230 years ago.
Sadly, the great Scot is no longer with us, but we had a similar issue come up in 2003, when Li Ka-shing tried to buy out Global Crossing. We made our voices heard to the CFIUS, and within days, Li backed off. Whether or not the two were related is not known, but I figured it was worth a shot.

So, for those of you who are reading this from America, please join me in letting the CFIUS know how we feel. Feel free to copy the letter I sent, or tweak as you like, and send it to CFIUS Chief of Staff Gay Hartwell Sills. Just remember to be civil (or it won't be read), and stick to the facts, which are harrowing enough.

For those of you reading this from outside the United States, if you could, please ask your government to advise the U.S. against approving this deal. They don't need to make their concerns public (in fact, there's reason to believe tha would be counterproductive), but it is well known that the President listens to world leaders he considers his friends, which for now include, among others, Stephen Harper (Canada), Angela Merkel (Germany), and Nic Sarkozy (France).

To be honest, I didn't really expect to throw myself into an activist move like this, but this is too important for me - for us - to stay on the sidelines. This deal must be stopped.

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