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Sen. Menendez Blasts Bush Over Dubai Port Deal

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez does not think the Bush administration is doing enough to safeguard American ports against terrorism. WNYC's Fred Mogul has more.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff over the weekend said Dubai Ports World was thoroughly vetted before being allowed to take over operations at six U.S. ports. But Menendez says Chertoff's assurances are not enough.

The state-owned United Arab Emirates company has acquired the British firm that currently runs the cruise terminal on Manhattan's west side, and co-operates the Port Newark Cargo Terminal. The Bush administration says many ports around the country are managed by foreign firms. Menendez says those are private firms, not state-backed ones, and can be regulated more easily.

He and other legislators say that if the White House does not reverse its approval, they will submit legislation to prevent ownership of ports by foreign governments.

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