Homeland Security Protested Ports Deal

The Homeland Security Department objected at first to a United Arab Emirates company's taking over significant operations at six U.S. ports. It was the lone protest among members of the government committee that eventually approved the deal without dissent.

The department's early objections were settled later in the government's review of the $6.8 billion deal after Dubai-owned DP World agreed to a series of security restrictions.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and other congressional leaders, the company and Bush administration officials were working on a compromise intended to derail plans by Republicans and Democrats for legislation next week that would force a new investigation of security issues relating to the deal. Talks were to continue through the weekend.

"My comfort level is good, but I have 99 other United States senators who need the opportunity to ask their questions," Frist told the Lexington Herald-Leader before speaking at a Republican dinner Saturday evening in Lexington, Ky.

"We're behind the president 100 percent," he added. "We believe the decision in all likelihood is absolutely the right one."

Under one proposal being discussed, DP World would seek new approval of the deal from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, given the company's surprise decision Thursday to indefinitely postpone its takeover of U.S. port operations. Other proposals included a new, intensive 45-day review of the deal by the government - something the White House had refused to consider as recently as Friday.

Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said discussions among congressional leaders centered on that issue. "It's my understanding that they are trying to build support for a deal involving a new 45-day investigation," he said.

Frist, R-Tenn., said that while legislation may not be necessary now, having "30 to 45 days" to step back and evaluate the deal still could be necessary.

"If there's some question about the diagnosis, then maybe we need to get a second opinion," said Frist, a former heart surgeon.

1 comment:

Safe Cruise Blog said...

Royal Caribbean Incorporated in Liberia - Is that safer than United Arab Emirates?

Only 17% of Americans believe that control of 6 major American ports should be given to the United Arab Emirates. Perhaps Americans should think twice before becoming sharholders or customers of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL) since they are incorporated in Liberia and controlled by families form Norway and a partnership in the Bahamas. Would you entrust the safety and security of your loved ones to a Liberian Corporation?

The folowing statements appear in the Form 10-K filed by RCCL with the Security and Exchange Commission on February 24, 2006:

We are not a United States corporation and our shareholders may be subject to the uncertainties of a foreign legal system in protecting their interests.

Our corporate affairs are governed by our Restated Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws and by the Business Corporation Act of Liberia. The provisions of the Business Corporation Act of Liberia resemble provisions of the corporation laws of a number of states in the United States. However, while most states have a fairly well developed body of case law interpreting their respective corporate statutes, there are very few judicial cases in Liberia interpreting the Business Corporation Act of Liberia. For example, the rights and fiduciary responsibilities of directors under Liberian law are not as clearly established as the rights and fiduciary responsibilities of directors under statutes or judicial precedent in existence in certain United States jurisdictions. Thus, our public shareholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests with respect to actions by management, directors or controlling shareholders than would shareholders of a corporation incorporated in a United States jurisdiction.

We are controlled by principal shareholders that have the power to determine our policies, management and actions requiring shareholder approval.

As of February 10, 2006, A. Wilhelmsen AS., a Norwegian corporation indirectly owned by members of the Wilhelmsen family of Norway, owned approximately 20.4% of our common stock and Cruise Associates, a Bahamian general partnership indirectly owned by various trusts primarily for the benefit of certain members of the Pritzker family and various trusts primarily for the benefit of certain members of the Ofer family, owned approximately 15.8% of our common stock

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