Frist Calls for Hold on Sea Port Deal

Wednesday, February 22, 2006
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D. (R-TN) made the following statement on the deal proposed by Dubai Ports World of the United Arab Emirates that would give the company day-to-day management of six major U.S. sea ports:

“Recent reports that a company based in the Middle East is seeking to purchase the operating rights to several U.S. ports raise serious questions regarding the safety and security of our homeland. The decision to finalize this deal should be put on hold until the Administration conducts a more extensive review of this matter.

“It is important for Congress be involved in this process. I have requested a detailed briefing on this deal.

“If the Administration cannot delay the process, I plan on introducing legislation to ensure that the deal is placed on hold until this decision gets a more thorough review.

“This is not the first time questions have been raised about the Executive Branch's review process, led by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, for these types of transactions. These deals could have a major impact on America’s security, the protection of which is our greatest responsibility. The CFIUS process needs to be more transparent and include a role for Congress that includes reviewing these deals, and possibly voiding them if necessary.”

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