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Protests mount in US over Dubai port deal

US lawmakers have criticised a Dubai-based company's deal to gain control of six major US ports. They question whether security issues would be compromised or not.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2006 14:48 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

A Dubai-based company's deal to gain control of six major US ports has sparked criticism from US lawmakers who question whether security would be compromised or not.

On Thursday, as many as seven US lawmakers called for a top-level government review of the security implications of the deal.

The company in question, DP World, had agreed earlier this week to buy the British port and ferries group Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company for USD 6.8 billion.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) headed by the Treasury Department had approved the deal that would make the Dubai-based firm manage facilities in Miami, New York, New Jersey, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Baltimore.

But US Senator Chuck Schumer, who voiced concerns earlier in the week about the takeover, urged Treasury Secretary John Snow to reconsider the government's approval.

"This United Arab Emirates government-owned and operated company could be perfectly qualified to operate ports around the world, but the question that needs to be answered is whether or not they can be trusted to operate our ports in this post 9-11 world," Schumer said. He also added, "the administration needs to take another look at this deal."

First Published: Feb 17, 2006 14:47 IST