President George W. Bush rejected congressional pressure to step in and suspend an Arab company's takeover of operations at major U.S. seaports on Tuesday and vowed to veto any legislation to block the deal.
Bush said "After careful review by our government, I believe the transaction ought to go forward," Bush told reporters aboard Air Force One. If Congress passed a law to stop the deal, "I'll deal with it with a veto."
He said that he was trying to conduct a fair foreign policy.
"I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a great British company," Bush said.
"I'm trying to conduct foreign policy now by saying to the people of the world 'we'll treat you fairly.'"
The firm, Dubai Ports World, owned by the United Arab Emirate of Dubai, cut a $6.8 billion deal last week to buy control of the ports - including Manhattan's cruise ship terminal and Newark, N.J.'s, giant container port - from a British firm.
the ports of New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia are just the start, the other problem is that. The company, Dubai Ports World, would also control the movement of military equipment on behalf of the U.S. Army through two other ports. From today’s edition of the British paper Lloyd’s List:
[P&O] has just renewed a contract with the United States Surface Deployment and Distribution Command to provide stevedoring [loading and unloading] of military equipment at the Texan ports of Beaumont and Corpus Christi through 2010.
Letter sent to Secretary Snow Department of Treasury
Federal law requires the President or his designee investigate the impact on national security of a foreign acquisition if the acquisition "could result in control of a person engaged in interstate commerce in the United States that could affect the national security of the United States." (50 USC App.&2170). The President has delegated this investigation authority to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) of which you are chairman. We understand that CFIUS has chosen not to conduct a formal investigation.
Now just back up Mr. President, how can you say that you would veto anything that will protect this country from the mess you are about to get us into. You say that you are protecting this country?
Then get your butt out there and do what is right to really keep us safe from terrorism and get your Administration to, for once do their job and really keep Americans safe. My God some President we have here!