ISRAEL BIGGEST MIDEAST INVESTOR IN U.S. / UPDATE
The U.S. State Department published foreign investor rankings Wednesday. Israel was first from the Middle East, with $4.1 billion, followed by Kuwait, with $1.2 billion. . . .
The release came in the wake of controversy stirred by revelations that a company hired to manage six U.S. ports was based in Dubai. . . .
The release noted the minuscule scale of Middle East investment: “Investment in the U.S. from Africa and the Middle East is less than $10 billion, only 0.6 percent of the total foreign investment in the U.S.”
Rachel Ehrenfeld points out that it is possible that the State Department information does not include Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States in this statement. That info, as she has documented, is kept secret because:
Under the"International Investment & Trade in Services Survey Act," the U.S. Treasury Department tracks foreign portfolio, and Commerce tracks direct investments. This information is unavailable for Saudi Arabia or the Gulf States, following their request that the details be suppressed"to avoid disclosure of data of individual companies." For example, under the heading"Foreign holdings of U.S. long-term securities, by country," Treasury aggregates all eight"Middle East oil exporters." A Treasury Department official said that this aggregation is a"Treasury policy," and justifies the non-disclosure on grounds that this information could"harm national security and foreign relations."
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