Concern over Arab port ownership may be misplaced
Port of Oakland file photo.
By Jason Benner, Bay City News Service
February 25, 2006
Members of Congress and others concerned about an Arab company
operating six major ports on the eastern seaboard of the United
States may find upon closer examination that ports nationwide
have an international flavor, a Port of Oakland spokesman said
Oakland is the nation's fourth-busiest port, behind Los Angeles,
Long Beach and New York-New Jersey, and has several international
companies operating at its nine terminals.
"It's a very interwoven, international operation,'' port
spokesman Harold Jones said.
Dubai Ports World, the United Arab Emirates company that acquired
the operating rights to the ports of New York, Newark, Philadelphia,
Baltimore, New Orleans and Miami, announced late Thursday that
it would delay taking over operations of the six ports in order
to give U.S. officials time to become better informed about the
Some members of Congress have objected to the deal on security
Critics of the deal point out that two Sept. 11 hijackers were
from the United Arab Emirates. The Bush Administration supports
the deal and maintains that security will not be compromised because
it is the responsibility of the Department of Homeland Security,
regardless of who operates any individual port.
Jones said international companies are common in U.S. ports,
including that of Oakland. "A number of international companies
have a presence at the port,'' he said.
Among the companies operating in Oakland are the Japanese company
Mitsui, which operates Berth 30, and the Korean company Hanjin,
which operates berths 55 and 56, according to Jones.
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