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    NYSmokey's Avatar
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    Angry Outsourcing "Homeland Security"

    Another brilliant decision by the bureaucrats in Washington.

    US Democrats plan bill to block Dubai-US port deal
    Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:36 AM ET
    By Jeremy Pelofsky


    WASHINGTON, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Two U.S. Democratic senators said on Friday they would introduce legislation aimed at blocking Dubai Ports World from buying a company that operates several U.S. shipping ports because of security concerns.

    Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Hillary Clinton of New York said they would offer a measure to ban companies owned or controlled by foreign governments from acquiring U.S. port operations.

    "We wouldn't turn the border patrol or the customs service over to a foreign government, and we can't afford to turn our ports over to one either," Menendez said in a statement.

    P&O (PO.L: Quote, Profile, Research), the company Dubai Ports World plans to buy for $6.8 billion, is already foreign-owned but the concern is that the purchaser is backed by the United Arab Emirates government.

    The UAE company would gain control over the management of major U.S. ports in New York and New Jersey, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Miami, sparking national security concerns.

    "I will be working with Senator Menendez to introduce legislation that will prohibit the sale of ports to foreign governments," Clinton said in a statement.

    Officials with the United Arab Emirates Embassy in Washington could not be immediately reached for comment.

    The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a U.S. inter-agency panel that reviews security implications of foreign takeovers of strategic assets, has already reviewed the transaction and did not object.

    Despite that review, some Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress urged the Bush administration to conduct a more rigorous review. They expressed fears that the UAE was used as a conduit for parts used for nuclear proliferation and that the local banking system had been abused by financiers with possible links to terrorist organizations.

    U.S. officials have said the UAE has been a solid and cooperative partner in the fight against terrorism, and have praised the UAE for steps to protect its booming financial sector against abuse by terrorism financiers.

    Money for the Sept. 11 attacks was wired through the UAE's banking system, according to U.S. officials. Two of the Sept. 11 hijackers were UAE citizens.

    U.S. seaports handle 2 billion tons of freight each year but only about 5 percent of containers entering the United States are examined on arrival.

    Similar concerns were raised when a China state-controlled oil company tried to acquire the U.S. oil company Unocal. After pressure from American lawmakers, the foreign company eventually dropped out of the bidding.
    Last edited by NYSmokey; 02-19-2006 at 10:50 AM.
    Tom

    Never Forget 9-11-2001

    Stay safe out there!

    IACOJ Member

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