Skip to comments.Dubai ports takeover prompts backlash
Posted on 02/16/2006 5:21:05 PM PST by Dane
Main page content: Dubai ports takeover prompts backlash By Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Edward Alden in Washington Published: February 16 2006 23:00 | Last updated: February 16 2006 23:00
Washington lawmakers on Thursday expressed deep reservations about Dubai Ports Worlds £3.9bn acquisition of P&O, the UK-based port operator, on the grounds that the deal represented a potential national security threat, and demanded that the White House re-open a regulatory review of the deal. ADVERTISEMENT
In a letter to Treasury secretary John Snow, Senator Richard Shelby, an influential Alabama Republican, stopped short of calling for the deal to be blocked, but said the transaction merited further scrutiny, potentially raising complications for DP Worlds bid. Mr Shelby is expected to call for a hearing to discuss the issue in coming weeks.
In a separate letter to Mr Snow, New York senator Chuck Schumer and others said US ports were the most vulnerable targets for terrorist attack. They questioned whether DP World, which is owned and controlled by Dubai, should be allowed to take over P&O, charging that Dubai was a key transfer point for shipments of nuclear components bound for Iran, North Korea and Libya.
The deal, which has already been given regulatory clearance by the White House, gives DP World container terminals at six ports on the east coast of the US, including New York and New Jersey.
Although the Department of Homeland Security is ultimately charged with cargo- screening functions, the legislators said the port facility itself was responsible for securing cargo coming in and out of the port and the hiring of security personnel.
After the 9/11 attacks, your department complained of a lack of co-operation by the UAE and other Arab countries as the US was trying to track down Osama bin Ladens bank accounts, the letter stipulated.
The growing congressional backlash against the deal is likely to reignite a debate in Washington on the effectiveness of the committee on foreign investments in the US, or Cfius, an inter-agency panel that vets foreign takeovers of US assets on national security grounds.
Cfius, which is chaired by the Treasury Department, approved Dubais bid for P&O after reviewing it for a standard 30-day-period, although the committee could have called for the deal to be examined more thoroughly over an additional 45 days.
Stewart Baker, assistant secretary for policy in the Department of Homeland Security, said that Cfius had completed its review after it was notified last year of the pending takeover, and had concluded there was no national security basis for blocking the transaction.
He said the US government had worked cooperatively with DP World in the past as part of the global container security initiative launched by the US after the September 11 attacks.
People familiar with the deal said administration officials were yesterday briefing lawmakers on the deal to assuage their concerns.
A spokesperson for the Treasury Department said the administration would not re-open its review unless evidence emerged that DP World had given the committee false information.
Cfius came under harsh scrutiny by lawmakers last year following a failed attempt by CNOOC, the Chinese oil company, to takeover California-based Unocal. Although the deal was quashed before Cfius reviewed the transaction, the widespread opposition to the deal in Congress prompted the Treasury Department and other agencies to promise to increase transparency at Cfius by communicating more with Congress and to be more willing to conduct full investigations of deals.
Basically, we have one foreign company operating port services being sold to another foreign company.
Now without the usual hyoerbole that seems to go along with these threads, maybe we can figure this out. Notice that the article says the port facility itself is responsible for security. I would surmise that the foreign port company is supervised by the municipal port authority and in one case that would be the NY/NJ port authority, so that means the local authorites are charged with security(i.e the Dubai company is not in charge with security).
BTW, notice how chuckie schumer mentioned Libya. I guess he missed the news that Libya has given up it's WMD program, due to US pressure and is now cooperating with the US.
I know a lot of people are queasy about this, but it should not be looked through the prism of hyperbole from the press and a Senator who falls in love with every TV camera there is(chuckie schumer).
And also what are other "solutions". Should there be a govt. takeover. Should the govt. block a sale of one foreign owned company to another foreign company.
So instead of the usual knee jerk hyperbole, how about intelligent discussion.
Since Feb 17, 2006"
Welcome to Free Republic
great info in this thread..
I think that is the misnomer, they are not taking over the ports, they are operating from the ports which are under the local municipal port authority.
Like I said before it is one foreign company buying the port facilities from another foreign company(which was British). And I wonder where schumer's outrage was over that foreign company that was overseen by the local port authority.
In actuality, this is a business deal, with a UK firm that has contracts in 6 US ports being taken over by another firm.
It's not like that DP world is taking over the ports. They will have a contract to load and unload ships from all a round the world from that port(which is under US control and overseen by local, state, and federal security).
Now there can be a debate about if that is good or not, but let's get rid of the chuckie schumer misnomer that DP World is "taking" over the ports, which they are not.
There are no muslim countries that are staunch U.S. allies. Their loyalty is to their religion which is in direct conflict with the security of the U.S. There is no such thing as a tolerant branch of islam. This is a business deal that would give a potentially hostile foreign power all information about the security of vital ports. What possible reason would we have to allow such a potentially suicidal transaction?
This is just plain stupid.
Maybe he doesn't trust Muslims.
Here are the new players: left Pres.UAE.... Right VP UAE
Rep. Mark Foley said Sec. John Snow told him he didn't know anything about the deliberations, yet he heads the Department which oversees this very decision. Additionally, when John Snow ran CSX Transporation, he sold his entire port operations to a Dubai-based corporation. So it appears Secretary Snow is either a fool, or a damned liar.
Actually that happened one year after Snow had left CSX.
Snow is a former chairman of freight rail company CSX Corp. (CSX.N: Quote, Profile, Research), which sold its global port assets to Dubai Ports World for $1.15 billion in 2004 -- the year after Snow had left the company for the Bush administration.
So who is being the liar now.
Will someone please tell me why there is not an American firm that can handle this acquisition? Why is it not even talked about? How about the cities where the ports are located having ownership, control and management?
You are right about that part and I stand corrected. However his claims of not knowing about the CFIUS deliberations were not credible.
JMO, chuckie schumer would be screaming 100 times louder if Halliburton took over.
I have no idea why there is not an American company that could take over.
What can be done to stop this? If we let 6 major ports be controlled by a terrorist-sponsoring nation, we're not serious about the War on Terror.
Allowing this to transpire is utter foolishness.
Are they holding hands or is one of them slipping a little something to the other?
Come right in with nukes,we have your prey rugs on the
dock so you can prey to allah before setting off the
nuke oh we also have some tea incase your thirsty.Oh
do you want some signs to show you the best place to set
your nuke off.We aim to please.
"If we let 6 major ports be controlled by a terrorist-sponsoring nation, we're not serious about the War on Terror."
Good job that's not happening then. The control of the ports isn't changing and P+O cannot really be considered a 'terrorist-sponsering nation'.
Err Dubai. P+O of course would not be a nation at all. Oh, it's way to early!
Do you ACTUALLY believe that Multi-Billion dollar deals with Multi-National Companies MAGICALLY occur AFTER certain players are bought by one of the interested parties? That they ONLY take one year?
Just how long does a Billion dollar deal take, Dane?
Because I'd bet that this buyout was proposed, started, researched, and negotiated when Snow was still head of CSX!
But not in your Kool-Aid addled world! Multi-National deals and Billion dollar buyouts ONLY occur when GWB and his sock-puppets say they do!
Wow, you really do NOT have a clue of what you speak...
NOW IT IS STARTING TO MAKE SENSE, AND IT REALLY MAKES ME SICK!
January 13, 2003, John Snow, CEO of CSX leaves and Bush nominates John Snow to be Secretary of the treasury
December 9, 2004, CSX World Terminals is purchased by DPW
January 24, 2006, David Sanborn leaves DPW and joins Whitehouse as new administrator of the Maritime Administration in the Transportation Department
Present, the fight whether to allow DPW into 6 US Ports
It's hard to be logical with the Kool Aid cultists..
And I have concluded there is little difference between the Treasury Department and Foggy Bottom when it comes to national security and protecting America's best interests. What a sorry assed collection of useless bureaucrats.
"Why can't I QUIT you?!"
Correct. But then that's just Dane being Dane.
For once, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is right about something. I guess it just goes to show that even a blind bird catches a worm once in a while.
What Schumer is right about is his opposition to the deal that would allow Dubai Ports World, a company based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to gain control of six major American ports through its purchase of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Staem Navigation Company, which currently runs the ports: New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Miami.
The obvious question is, aren't there any American companies capable of running these ports? And the more important question is, Are we serious about the War on Terror? We have left our borders wide open for anyone (including terrorists) to come through and now we are turning control of six major ports over to a country that sponsors terrorism.
The deal has been approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, but Schumer, along with Senators Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Representaties Vito Fossella (R-NY), Christopher Shays (R-Ct.), and Mark Foley (R-Fla.), is trying to stop the transaction. REpresentaigve Peter King (R-NY), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, has urged the Bush Administration to reconsider.
New York City Council members of both parties have spoken out against the deal. "On its face, this looks like insanity to me," the Republican minority leader of the City Council, James Oddo, said. The chairman of the Council's Public Safety Committee, Democrat Peter Vallone, said that the deal "raises some legitimate concerns."
The Bush administration considers the UAE a key ally in the War on Terror, but the UAE has been a sponsor of terrorism. It was the home of Marwan al-Shehi, one of the 19 hijackers who killed 3,000 people on September 11, 2001. Other hijackers travelled through the UAE. The UAE was an important financial base for the September 11 hijackers. The country is a transit point for Al Qaeda. It has been a financier of Al Qaeda. It continues to regard the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan and is militantly anti-Israel. The CIA has identified the UAE as a major center for drug running and money laundering. It also has close ties to Iran.
The UAE is a federation of seven Arab emirates on the Arabian peninsula.
As Rep. Foley has said, "If our ports are the most vulnerable targets for terrorism and if we are at war, as the president says, we should be overly critical of handing over the management of our ports to any foreign countries, post 9/11."
What happens if nuclear materials pass through one of these ports? How will the UAE direct its employees to deal with that? The threat to our national security is clear.
That is why these Senators and Representatives are right to speak out against the transfer of control of our ports to UAE control, just as Red Chinese control of the Panama Canal poses a threat to our national security.
Can we afford to turn control of key ports over to a company controlled by a terrorist-sponsoring government?
I am sorry, but you simply incorrect on all of your points. With all due respect, you are uninformed, nativistic, and prejudiced. Thousands of Muslims have died as our allies resisting Islamofascist extremism. Thousands more died resisting Communism. The kind of attitude you exemplify will simply drive more Muslims into the camp of the extremists.
The ignorance and childish naivete of people like you threatens my security. Kumbaya is not a strategy against a ruthless enemy.
What flavor kool-aide do I need to drink to make this Arab control of our ports sound like a good idea?
Bush is so freaking stupid on this. Who in the XXXX is in control in the White House on policy and politics.
It appears that he is batting 50% instead of in the high 90s right now. I cannot believe the his instincts are in this or Karl Rove's. He has badly, badly misjudged the populace on this issue. It is literal idiocy.
We even have Senator Schumer suggesting Halliburton, which is beyond sensible, but maybe only a Dem could do it.
Maybe what should be printed and discussed is HOW MANY COMPANIES in the world can handle this job?
Bush is even allowing Hillary Clinton to get to his right for crying out loud...why would he allow that to happen.
Novak's report says today that the impression that he is seeing people get, is that control in the White House is off balance.
Who's on first? What's on Second? and I don't know is on Third?
If all this weren't so important with the mid terms coming up this year, you would have to laugh and cry.
From one of my favorite Star Trek films:
The lady says, "Is this that dip s**t stuff?"
and Captain Kirk says, "No Mam, no dip s**t.
The problem? This has dip s**t written all over it, just like Mier's for SCOTUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Where has Bush's game gone??????
I understand the line of reasoning...
but unequivocally disagree!!!!!!!!!!!!!