21 February, 2006

More Oppositions To UAE Takeover Of US Port Operations

Hong Kong Port Managed By DP World
Hong Kong Port Managed By DP World

Executives at Dubai Ports World are intensifying a public relations effort this week as lawmakers ratchet up protests against the Bush administration over allowing the United Arab Emirates-owned firm to run six U.S. ports (New York and New Jersey, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Miami).

US Sens. Robert Menendez and Hillary Clinton announced Friday that they'll introduce legislation next month to bar companies owned or controlled by foreign governments from buying port operations in the United States.

"The administration should freeze the contract ... until a full and thorough investigation is carried out," Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee told Reuters.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, defending the deal, said the administration approved it after a classified review and included provisions to protect national security.

"You can be assured that before a deal is approved we put safeguards in place, assurances in place, that make everybody comfortable that we are where we need to be from a national security viewpoint," Chertoff said on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

"It's unbelievably tone deaf politically at this point in our history, four years after 9/11, to entertain the idea of turning port security over to a company based in the UAE who avows to destroy Israel," Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said on "Fox News Sunday."

"A company in the United Arab Emirates is poised to take over significant operations at six American ports as part of a corporate sale, leaving a country with ties to the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers with influence over a maritime industry considered vulnerable to terrorism." said an article published in WashingtonPost.com

Read Also:
Congressman says US should freeze Dubai port deal (Reuters)
House GOP Leaders Line Up Against UAE Port Deal (Fox News)
UAE Firm Struggles to Run Ports Against U.S. Opposition (Fox News)
Menendez, Clinton seek to stop UAE port deal (North Jersey Media Group)
Lawmakers Assail UAE Takeover Of Port Operations (NBC4i)
Concern grows for Arabs running U.S. Ports (MSNBC)
Inside the port deal that's giving Bush headaches (CNN Anderson Coper 360 Blog)
United Arab Emirates Firm May Oversee 6 U.S. Ports (Washington Post)


BD said...

At last Americans will start to notice Dubai and the UAE. Even bad publicity will be good for Dubai, Inc. With the purchase of P&O it seems to have catapulted up to the league of such economic superpowers as Japan and China--China having raised the ire of many in a bid a few years ago to aquire operations at a major US port and Japan several years ago for being rallied against for seemingly trying to buy a peice of everything in the world. It's all another feather in Dubai's cap!

BTW, my brother had an important post at one of the US ports mentioned in the article and says that the operations of some of the port's business activities, which is what P&O does, has nothing to do with security operations which are handled by the US coastgaurd. I believe the outcry taking place will amount to a tempest in a teacup. Of course, nothing was said while another foreign firm (of the UK) was handling operations just as no one said anything about the fact that the Dutch were for a while buying up as many US assets as the Japanese were.

John B. Chilton said...

Hope you're right bd. It's been a mighty big tempest so far though voices of reason are starting to materialize.

I hope the irony is not missed.
Bush: the voice of reason.
H. Clinton: playing the race card
B. Clinton: collecting massive speaking engagements from AUD on a regular basis.

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