Sean Lynch at Catallarchy calls this a win for free trade, which is disputed by The Modulator on the grounds that the acquiring company is owned by a government--the United Arab Emirates. The alternative acquirer, PSA International of Singapore, is also owned by a government (the Republic of Singapore), through Temasek Holdings. It's clearly not "free trade" in the sense of a normal voluntary transaction between two private entities both in light of the government ownership and the whole CFIUS process and mandated agreements imposed by the U.S. government.
UPDATE: Ed Brayton argues against the deal at Dispatches from the Culture Wars, and I've offered some comments there, including this paragraph that I think Sean Lynch would agree with:
I'm not sure I see what the big deal is about P&O being owned by Dubai Ports World being owned by the Dubai government (the Hong Kong of the United Arab Emirates), vs. P&O being owned by PSA International being owned by Temasek Holdings being owned by the Republic of Singapore--apart from a general objection to government-owned businesses. I also don't see a big deal in Haier (Chinese company) making Maytag washing machines, or Lenovo making IBM ThinkPads. It seems to me that the more economic interests that cross national boundaries, the less likely we are to have wars.UPDATE 2: At least some provisions of the agreement (presumably negotiated as part of the CFIUS process) have come out, and while the DHS described the terms as "unprecedented among maritime companies," they sound lax by comparison to the terms that have been used in such agreements for foreign acquisitions of U.S. telecommunications companies. Apparently the Bush administration is more concerned about the flow of information than the movement of physical materials.