New York Representative Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, was among the U.S. lawmakers raising doubts over the DP World acquisition of P&O Ports. The Dubai-based DP World is partly owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates. King and other lawmakers’ concerns over the $6.8 billion deal for P&O centered on P&O terminals at the U.S. ports of New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia. The deal was reviewed and passed by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Committee on Foreign Investment (including Defense and Homeland Security representation), but it has raised concerns that a foreign government will have access to sensitive information about U.S. security measures.
It’s noteworthy that Treasury Secretary John Snow, chair of the Committee on Foreign Investment, is the former head of CSX Corp., which owned and operated SeaLand and CSX World Terminals, a port terminal operating company. In fact, DP World had previously acquired CSX World Terminals.
As security concerns were being raised on Capitol Hill, P&O Ports announced it had signed a contract with the United States Surface Deployment and Distribution Command to provide stevedoring of military equipment at the Port of Beaumont and the Port of Corpus Christi. The contract continues a relationship P&O has had with the 842nd Transportation Battalion since 1989.
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