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Dubai firm plans to bow out of ports deal

DP World, the Dubai-owned company at the center of controversy in the United States, plans to transfer its recently acquired operations at six key American ports to another operator. The purchaser of the US interests was not known.

“This should make the issue go away,” said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), who with several other Republican leaders warned President George W Bush that Congress was poised to sink the measure.

However, other GOP and Democratic legislators were still unsure, with some continuing to call for congressional action.

DP World had completed a $6.8 billion acquisition of Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. This British firm, via a US subsidiary, runs port operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore MD, New Orleans LA, Miami FL, and Philadelphia PA. It also is involved to a lesser degree with 16 other US ports.

The deal was supported by Bush, who praised the United Arab Emirates as an ally against terrorism and threatened to veto any legislation opposing the measure.

Congress strongly opposed the deal, with the House Appropriations Committee voting 62-2 to block it and assure an override of a Bush veto.

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