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Ports flap: White House issues ``fact sheets'' on U.S.-UAE relations and ``CFIUS'' process

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The Bush team goes on the offensive to defend the ports deal with a United Arab Emirates company


FACT SHEET: THE CFIUS PROCESS AND THE DP WORLD TRANSACTION
THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

________________________________________________________________________
______

For Immediate Release February 22, 2006

The CFIUS Process And The DP World Transaction

"If there was any chance that this transaction would jeopardize the
security of the United States, it would not go forward. The company has
been cooperative with the United States government. The company will
not manage port security. The security of our ports will continue to be
managed by the Coast Guard and Customs. The company is from a country
that has been cooperative in the war on terror, been an ally in the war
on terror. The company operates ports in different countries around the
world, ports from which cargo has been sent to the United States on a
regular basis."


- President George W. Bush, February 21, 2006

President Bush Strongly Supports The Decision To Move Forward With The
DP World Transaction

The Administration, As Required By Law, Has Reviewed The Transaction To
Make Certain That It Does Not In Any Way Jeopardize National Security.
Under the process conducted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in
the United States (CFIUS), officials carefully reviewed the national
security issues raised by the transaction and its effect on our national
security. Twelve Federal agencies and the government's counterterrorism
experts closely and carefully reviewed the transaction to make certain
it posed no threat to national security.

DP World Has Provided Strong Security Assurances To The United States.
DP World has signed a letter of assurances making commitments to meet
and maintain security standards for the port terminals that they will
own and operate in the United States. There are a number of safeguards
that are in place in the agreement, and the American people should feel
confident that the transaction will in no way harm the security of the
Nation's ports.

DP World's Bid For The London-Based Peninsular And Oriental (P&O) Steam
Navigation Company Was Announced Last Fall. DP World, a UAE-based
commercial entity, is purchasing the U.S. subsidiary of the London-based
P&O Steam Navigation Company. The announcement of DP World's bid for
P&O was made in November 2005, and the news was widely reported in the
press and international financial trade publications. The formal CFIUS
process was set into motion in December, and the Federal government
conducted a thorough review to ensure that port security would in no way
be compromised by the deal.

The Administration Has Taken A Principled Position Based On The Security
Of Our Nation And Careful Review Of The Transaction. The President has
made clear that he stands firmly behind the decision to allow the DP
World transaction to move forward. Preventing this transaction by a
reputable company to go forward after careful review would send a
terrible signal to friends and allies that investments in the United
States from certain parts of the world are not welcome.

The Port Security Of the United States Is The Administration's First And
Foremost Concern

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Is Always In Charge Of The
Nation's Port Security, Not The Private Company That Operates Facilities
Within The Ports. Nothing will change with this transaction. DHS,
along with the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and
other Federal agencies, sets the standards for port security and ensures
that all port facility owners and operators comply with these standards.


The Transaction Is Not About Port Security Or Even Port Ownership, But
Only About Operations In Port. DP World will not manage port security,
nor will it own any ports. DP World would take on the functions now
performed by the British firm P&O - basically the off- and on-loading of
cargo. Employees will still have to be U.S. citizens or legal permanent
residents. No private company currently manages any U.S. port. Rather,
private companies such as P&O and DP World simply manage and operate
individual terminals within ports.

Background On The CFIUS Process

The CFIUS Process Was Rigorously Followed, And CFIUS Agencies Carefully
Reviewed The Transaction. Ensuring the protection of our national
security is the top priority of all members of CFIUS. In reviewing a
foreign transaction, CFIUS brings together 12 Federal agencies with
diverse expertise to consider transactions from a variety of
perspectives and identify and analyze all national security issues.


* The Department of the Treasury, which chairs CFIUS, receives
notices of transactions, serves as the contact point for the private
sector, establishes a calendar for review of each transaction, and
coordinates the interagency process.
* During the initial 30-day review, each CFIUS member agency
conducts its own internal analysis of the national security implications
of the transaction under review. CFIUS also consults with the
intelligence community. In this case, the Departments of Transportation
and Energy were also brought in to widen the scope and add to the
expertise of the CFIUS agencies involved in the review process.
* All CFIUS decisions are made by consensus of the entire
committee. The review process allows any agency that sees a potential
credible threat to the national security to raise those concerns.
* In the course of the review of this transaction, DHS reached an
agreement with DP World to mitigate security concerns.

DP World Has Played By The Rules, Has Cooperated With The United States,
And Is From A Country That Is A Close Ally In the War on Terror. The
United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been a solid partner in the War on
Terror. The UAE has been extremely cooperative on counter-terrorism and
counter-proliferation and has provided considerable support to U.S.
forces in the Gulf and to the governments and people of Iraq and
Afghanistan.

* The UAE Is A Partner In Shutting Down Terror Finance Networks.
The UAE has worked with us to stop terrorist financing and money
laundering, including by freezing accounts, enacting aggressive
anti-money-laundering and counter-terrorist financing laws and
regulations, and exchanging information on people and entities suspected
of being involved in those actions.

* The UAE Is An Established Partner In Protecting America's Ports.
Dubai was the first Middle Eastern entity to join the Container Security
Initiative (CSI) - a multinational program to protect global trade from
terrorism. Dubai was also the first Middle Eastern entity to join the
Department of Energy's Megaports Initiative, a program aimed at stopping
illicit shipments of nuclear and other radioactive material.

Port Security Begins Abroad. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
created the CSI to enable CBP to inspect 100% of high-risk containers at
foreign seaports before they are loaded onboard vessels destined for the
United States. Dubai was the first Middle Eastern entity to join CSI.
Cooperation with Dubai has been outstanding and a model for other
operations.

* DP World currently manages 19 container terminals and has
operations in 14 countries. The United States government has a strong
working relationship with DP World.

# # #

========================================================================================
Office of the Press Secretary

________________________________________________________________________
_____________

For Immediate Release February 22, 2006

The United States - UAE Bilateral Relationship

"But I also want to repeat something again, and that is, this is a
company that has played by the rules, that has been cooperative with the
United States, a country that's an ally in the War on Terror, and it
would send a terrible signal to friends and allies not to let this
transaction go through."

- President Bush, 2/21/06

"[T]he military-to-military relationship with the United Arab Emirates
is superb. ... They've got airfields that they allow us to use, and
their airspace, their logistics support. They've got a world-class
air-to-air training facility that they let us use and cooperate with
them in the training of our pilots. In everything that we have asked and
work with them on, they have proven to be very, very solid partners."

- General Peter Pace, Chairman Of The Joint Chiefs Of Staff, 2/21/06

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Is A Longstanding Friend And Ally Of The
United States. The United States and UAE have a longstanding alliance.
The UAE is a key partner of the United States in the War on Terror,
helping to advance Middle East peace efforts. The UAE is also a vibrant
trading partner and has provided critical support in the wake of
Hurricane Katrina.

The UAE Is A Key Partner In The War On Terror. The UAE provides U.S.
and Coalition forces unprecedented access to its ports and territory,
overflight clearances, and other critical and important logistical
assistance. Today, the UAE is providing assistance to the missions in
Afghanistan and Iraq, combating terrorists by cutting off their
financing, and enhancing America's homeland security by actively
participating in initiatives to screen shipments and containers.

* UAE Ports Host More U.S. Navy Ships Than Any Port Outside The
United States. The UAE provides outstanding support for the U.S. Navy
at the ports of Jebel Ali - which is managed by DP World - and Fujairah
and for the U.S. Air Force at al Dhafra Air Base (tankers and
surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft). The UAE also hosts the UAE
Air Warfare Center, the leading fighter training center in the Middle
East.

* The UAE Is A Partner In Shutting Down Terror Finance Networks.
The UAE has worked with us to stop terrorist financing and money
laundering, including by freezing accounts, enacting aggressive
anti-money-laundering and counter-terrorist financing laws and
regulations, and exchanging information on people and entities suspected
of being involved in these activities.

* The UAE Is An Established Partner In Protecting America's Ports.
Dubai was the first Middle Eastern entity to join the Container Security
Initiative (CSI) - a multinational program to protect global trade from
terrorism. Under CSI, a team of U.S. Customs and Border Protection
officers is permanently stationed inside Dubai's ports, where they work
closely with Dubai Customs to screen containers destined for the United
States. Cooperation with Dubai officials has been outstanding and a
model for other operations. Dubai was also the first Middle Eastern
entity to join the Department of Energy's Megaports Initiative, a
program aimed at stopping illicit shipments of nuclear and other
radioactive material.

* The UAE Is A Critical Partner In Afghanistan. The UAE extends
vital military and political support to Operation Enduring Freedom in
Afghanistan and substantial financial and humanitarian support to
Afghanistan and its people.

* The UAE Is Supporting The New Iraqi Government. The UAE has
provided significant monetary and materiel support to the Iraqi
government, including a pledge of $215 million in economic and
reconstruction assistance.

The UAE Is Supporting Middle East Peace Efforts. The UAE is a moderate
Arab state and a long-time supporter of all aspects of Middle East peace
efforts. The U.S. and the UAE are also working together to create a
stable economic, political and security environment in the Middle East.

The UAE Provided $100 Million To Help The Victims Of Hurricane Katrina.
The UAE was one of the first nations to offer financial aid to the U.S.
after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. UAE's $100 million
donation was one of the largest by any nation.

# # #

2 Comments

Since President Bush, David Brooks, Larry Kudlow, amongst others, seem to be so cavalier about who manages our ports, may I suggest that the U.S. consider handing over port and airport security to Mossad. We could all rest a little easier and they would keep the Dubai port management company on its toes and out of mischief. Also with the Israelis running the show it would be an acid test as to how much of an ally, like the Saudis, the government of Dubai really is.

Where is the wisdom in handing management of one's ports to foreign hands? The difference between the British and the UAE firm is ideology. The Europeans did not attack this country causing thousands of deaths. Relinquishing control of one's ports for monetary gain can only lead to harm. How much money is an American life worth? If it is money that the U.S. government is concerned with, why don't we grow our own fuel? Perhaps maybe we should harvest it from the wind and the water or the Sun, alas, this would not be financially benificial to our government would it? What are a few dollars for our children's future? Surely the love of money is the root of all evil.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on February 23, 2006 9:42 AM.

Bush on UAE ports deal: ``People don't need to worry about security'' was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet column: Port skirmish blindsided Bush is the next entry in this blog.

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