Two U.S. Democratic senators said on Friday they would introduce legislation aimed at blocking Dubai Ports World from buying a company that operates several U.S. shipping ports because of security concerns.
Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Hillary Clinton of New York said they would offer a measure to ban companies owned or controlled by foreign governments from acquiring U.S. port operations.
"We wouldn't turn the border patrol or the customs service over to a foreign government, and we can't afford to turn our ports over to one either," Menendez said in a statement. The Senate Banking Committee also plans to hold a hearing on the issue later this month.
P&O, the company Dubai Ports World plans to buy for $6.8 billion, is already foreign-owned, by the British, but the concern is that the purchaser is backed by the United Arab Emirates government.
The UAE company would gain control over the management of major U.S. ports in New York and New Jersey, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Miami and that has sparked national security concerns among lawmakers.
"I will be working with Senator Menendez to introduce legislation that will prohibit the sale of ports to foreign governments," Clinton said in a statement.
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