Senator Bill Frist says that if an American buyer can not be found to purchase DPW’s stake in US terminals, the DPW deal may still go through:
Congress will closely watch a Dubai-owned company to be sure it transfers its U.S. port operations to an American company, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Sunday.
But Frist, R-Tenn., acknowledged that if an American buyer is not found, and the Bush administration determines there are no security risks, a deal for DP World to manage and operate major U.S. ports still could go through.
“If everything that the president, the administration has said, and that is that there is absolutely no threatening or jeopardy to our security and safety of the American people … I don’t see how the deal would have to be canceled,” Frist said on ABC’s “This Week.”
And Dubai Ports World is trying a PR push:
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: A group representing U.S. companies in the United Arab Emirates said it would invite Oprah Winfrey and other U.S. talk show hosts to the Gulf to try to alter American public opinion, which helped block Dubai’s takeover of five U.S. ports.
The American Business Group of Abu Dhabi, which has more than 500 members including Boeing and Exxon Mobil, wants Winfrey to do her show from the Gulf sheikdom as it seeks to persuade Americans that the country is not a threat to national security, Kevin Massengill, a board member of the group said by telephone Saturday from Abu Dhabi.
“We want to reach out to the average guy in the U.S. and explain why the U.A.E. is important,” said Massengill, a former adviser to the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
The UAE is also considering converting its holdings from dollars to euros:
LONDON (MarketWatch) — The central bank governor of the United Arab Emirates suggested the country may switch up to 10% of its $22.5 billion in currency reserves into euros, in a sign of fallout from Congress’ hostility to the acquisition of some U.S. ports by a Dubai-based firm.
Hat tip: The American Thinker
AJ Strata is blogging about this as well.
Update: Even though Dubai Ports World said it would sell its stake in terminals in the US, said that it will not immediately sell its interest in a terminal in Miami:
The Dubai-owned company that promised to surrender its U.S. port operations has no immediate plans to sell its U.S. subsidiary’s interests at Miami’s seaport, a senior executive wrote Monday in a private e-mail to business associates.
Even if DP World were to sell its Miami operations to quell the congressional furor over an Arab-owned company managing major U.S. ports, “that would probably take a while,” wrote Robert Scavone, a vice president for DP World’s U.S. subsidiary.
The e-mail, obtained by The Associated Press, added to questions raised since DP World’s announcement last week that it will divest U.S. port operations it acquired when it bought London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co.