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Old 26-02-2006, 13:16   #31
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You know what? Screw this forum about foreign companies taking over our Ports of Call...

I'M GOING BOATING!! You, who know all the answers, can worry about it.. Nothing is getting settled here and it won't.... I'm not wasting MY TIME as I wasted my TAX DOOLARS... Where's the Jimmy Buffett music....Viva MercCruiser; Viva OMC: Viva Living on a Hook!


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Old 26-02-2006, 14:19   #32
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Arab Company Offers Broader Ports Review

Alright Everyone. I am not doing a political rant. So if you get offended. Just move on to another post instead? I'm only posting this. So that we could set the record straight. And to show some of those,"who's been posting." The events that are taking place here!

A United Arab Emirates-based company sought to avert an impending political showdown by offering on Sunday to submit to a second - and broader - U.S. review of potential security risks in its deal to take over significant operations at six leading American ports.

In six pages of documents sent to the White House, Dubai-based DP World asked for a 45-day investigation of plans to run shipping terminals in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.

Republican leaders in Congress expected the Bush administration to accept. The offer defused threats by some lawmakers to introduce legislation this week that might delay or block the deal.

The president's national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, said before the company's announcement that the White House supported efforts to delay the ports deal as long as it was not derailed. The administration did not immediately endorse the company's proposal, although senior U.S. officials and DP World executives have closely coordinated their efforts in recent weeks.

DP World's offer was highly unusual. The secretive U.S. committee that considers security risks of foreign companies buying or investing in American industry has conducted such full investigations only about two dozen times among the more than 1,500 international deals it has reviewed.

The company said that during the renewed scrutiny, or until May 1, a London-based executive who is a British citizen would have authority over DP World's U.S. operations. It pledged that Dubai executives would not control or influence company business in the U.S., but said it was entitled to all profits during the period. It also said it will appoint an American to be its chief security officer in the United States.

"We hope that voluntarily agreeing to further scrutiny demonstrates our commitment to our long-standing relationship with the United States," said Edward H. Bilkey, the company's chief operating officer.

President Bush forcefully has defended his administration's earlier approval of DP World's proposal to buy London-based Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. It was not immediately clear whether the re-examination by U.S. officials would produce a different outcome.

"We're satisfied that there's been a complete review of the deal," Francis Fragos Townsend, the White House homeland security adviser, said on "Fox News Sunday."

In the administration's earlier review, completed Jan. 17, DP World agreed to cooperate with law enforcement investigations and disclose records on demand about "foreign operational direction" of its business. The U.S. review committee unanimously approved the deal after a regular 30-day review, during which U.S. intelligence agencies reported they found no derogatory information about DP World in their files.

As part of that review, the administration did not require DP World to keep copies of business records on U.S. soil, where they would be subject to orders by American courts. It also did not require the company to designate an American citizen to accommodate U.S. government requests for information or assistance.

In the legal papers sent to the White House, DP World said it would abide by the outcome of the lengthier review but indicated it could sue if the results were any different. The administration could seek additional security measures beyond the terms already negotiated.

A chief critic of the ports deal, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said the company appeared to invite the more thorough investigation sought by many lawmakers. King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said the proposal should be enough to delay any immediate effort in Congress to block the deal.

"If it is what it appears to be, to me there's no need at this time to go forward" with emergency legislation, King said. "Obviously we have to hold it in reserve and see what happens."

Another critic, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said DP World's willingness to submit to the new review was "certainly a significant step forward, but the devil is in the details." Schumer said Congress should have a chance after the review to approve or reject the administration's decision.

"If the report is completed and kept secret and only given to the president, who has already come out for the deal, it will not reassure Americans," Schumer said.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., presented the outlines of a proposal to the company and the administration late Friday. All parties, including House Speaker Dennis Hastert's office, held talks through the weekend.

Critics of the deal have cited the UAE's history as an operational and financial base for the hijackers who attacked New York and Washington in September 2001. The U.S. government also questioned the UAE years ago about possible ties between officials there and Osama bin Laden, according to the report by the independent commission that investigated the suicide hijackings. Critics also have complained that the UAE was one of only three countries to recognize the Taliban government in Afghanistan before the U.S. overthrow in 2001.

Critics have questioned why the deal received the administration's blessing when two of the hijackers involved in the September 11, 2001, attacks came from the UAE, and much of the money for the plot was funneled through Dubai, a major Persian Gulf banking center.

The UAE, however, is also a key U.S. ally in the Middle East, a frequent stop for U.S. warships and aircraft, and a supply depot for U.S. troops in Iraq.

Homeland Security Adviser Fran Townsend, appearing on "Fox News Sunday," defended that Bush and other officials were not alerted earlier to the potential implications of such a deal.

"These deals go through and are reviewed all the time. There have been 65 last year. Rarely, do they make it to the president," she said. "I take actually comfort in the fact that it was reviewed by experts across the government, in the agencies that have a concern, and those concerns were addressed. So it didn't need to rise up to that level."

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States is led by the Treasury Department and includes representatives of the Defense, State and Commerce departments.

The deal initially was scheduled to close Thursday. DP World said it will proceed with the $6.85 billion acquisition as planned but will "voluntarily separate out the U.S. assets that would otherwise be part of the deal" to allow time for the review.

In addition to commitments previously made to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, DP World has pledged its North American port operations will be "a completely separate business unit"; that it will not exercise control over the management of U.S. operations; and that the chief security officer for P&O's North American operations will remain a U.S. citizen, unless the U.S. Coast Guard -- which oversees security at American ports -- agrees otherwise.


"Those who desire to give up Freedom in order to gain security, will not have, nor do they deserve, either one." - Benjamin Franklin
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Old 27-02-2006, 17:48   #33
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Remember what happened last time we had "intelligence gaps"?

WASHINGTON (AP) - Citing broad gaps in U.S. intelligence, the Coast Guard cautioned the Bush administration that it was unable to determine whether a United Arab Emirates-owned company might support terrorist operations, a Senate panel said Monday.

The surprise disclosure came during a hearing on Dubai-owned DP World's plans to take over significant operations at six leading U.S. ports. The port operations are now handled by London-based Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company.

"There are many intelligence gaps, concerning the potential for DPW or P&O assets to support terrorist operations, that precludes an overall threat assessment of the potential" merger," an undated Coast Guard intelligence assessment says.

"The breadth of the intelligence gaps also infer potential unknown threats against a large number of potential vulnerabilities," the document says.
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Old 09-03-2006, 20:31   #34
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Post Dubai Firm Backs Out of U.S. Ports Deal

Once again...I'm not trying to discuss politics. Just summerizing the latest news here!!!

A Dubai-owned company abruptly abandoned its plan for managing operations at six U.S. ports Thursday, defusing an election-year showdown between President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress over an issue that had become a political land mine for the GOP.

"DP World will transfer fully the U.S. operations ... to a United States entity," H. Edward Bilkey, the company's top executive, said in the surprise announcement that seemed to spread relief throughout the Capitol and the White House. It was unclear which American business might get the port operations.

Just hours earlier, Republican House and Senate leaders privately told the president that Congress was all but certain to block DP World's plan. Under pressure from a disapproving public, a House committee overwhelmingly voted against it Wednesday. The leaders told Bush the Senate would inevitably do the same, despite his threats to veto any legislation killing the deal.

The company's announcement gave Bush an out. He now doesn't have to back down from his staunch support of the United Arab Emirates-based company or further divide his party on a terrorism-related issue with a veto.

The White House expressed satisfaction with the company's decision.

"It does provide a way forward and resolve the matter," said Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary "We have a strong relationship with the UAE and a good partnership in the global war on terrorism, and I think their decision reflects the importance of our broader relationship."

Administration officials expressed surprise at the outcome. White House officials said the decision was the result of conversations between Congress and the company, and that senior administration officials were not directly involved in the talks.

Sen. John Warner, R-Va., said "upper levels of both governments" worked toward the result, including Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and emir of Dubai, who "advised the company ... that this action is the appropriate course to take." DP World's statement indicated that Sheik Mohammed made the decision.

After weeks of controversy the end came unexpectedly and quickly.

Hours after congressional leaders delivered their warning, Warner, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, read the company's announcement on the Senate floor.

It was unclear how the company would manage its planned divestiture, and Bilkey's statement said its announcement was "based on an understanding that DP World will not suffer economic loss."

Even critics of the deal expressed cautious optimism that DP World's move would quell the controversy surrounding that company's plan to take over some terminal leases at six major U.S. ports held by the London-based company it was purchasing.

Congress, typically a slow-moving operation, moved at lightning speed to try to block the deal, underscoring the deep concern over it and the anger about the White House's unwillingness to listen.

"This should make the issue go away," said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. Added Warner: "To me, that statement put an end to all of this."

The two senior senators backed the Bush administration on the issue and they had been privately urging the company to give up its quest, Republican officials said on condition of anonymity.

"The devil is in the details," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., echoing other lawmakers in Congress.

Rep. Peter King applauded the decision but said he and others would wait to see the fine print. "It would have to be an American company with no links to DP World, and that would be a tremendous victory and very gratifying," said the New York Republican, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

The company on Thursday finalized its $6.8 billion purchase of Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co., the British firm that through a U.S. subsidiary runs important port operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia. It also plays a lesser role in dockside activities at 16 other American ports.

The plan was disclosed last month, setting off a political storm in the United States even though the company's U.S. operations were only a small part of the global transaction. DP World valued its rival's American operations at less than 10 percent of the nearly $7 billion total purchase.

Republicans denounced the plan, furious that they learned of it from news reports instead of the administration. They cited concerns over a company run by a foreign government overseeing operations at U.S. ports already vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

Democrats also pledged to halt the takeover and clamored for a vote in the Senate. They sought political advantage from the issue by trying to narrow a polling gap with the GOP on issues of national security.

After the company's announcement, the Senate indefinitely postponed a vote on a Democratic move to block the deal.

Bush defended the deal, calling the United Arab Emirates a strong ally in the war on terror and pledging to cast the first veto of his presidency if Congress voted to interfere.

Senate Republicans initially tried to fend off a vote, and the administration agreed to a 45-day review of the transaction. That strategy collapsed on Wednesday with the 62-2 vote in the House Appropriations Committee to thwart the sale.


"Those who desire to give up Freedom in order to gain security, will not have, nor do they deserve, either one." - Benjamin Franklin
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