Office of Public Affairs
U.S. Coast Guard
Date: Feb. 27, 2006
Contact: Cmdr. Jeff Carter
STATEMENT BY COAST GUARD SPOKESMAN CMDR. JEFF CARTER ON COAST GUARD PORT TRANSACTION ANALYSIS
WASHINGTON - "What is being quoted is an excerpt of a broader Coast Guard intelligence analysis that was performed early on as part of its due diligence process. The excerpts made public earlier today, when taken out of context, do not reflect the full, classified analysis performed by the Coast Guard. That analysis concludes ‘that DP World's acquisition of P&O, in and of itself, does not pose a significant threat to U.S. assets in [continental United States] ports.’ Upon subsequent and further review, the Coast Guard and the entire CFIUS panel believed that this transaction, when taking into account strong security assurances by DP World, does not compromise U.S. security."
The firm, Dubai Ports World, is seeking control over six major US ports, including those in New York, Miami, Philadelphia and Baltimore. It is entirely owned by the Government of Dubai via a holding company called the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCZC), which consists of the Dubai Port Authority, the Dubai Customs Department and the Jebel Ali Free Zone Area.
"Yes, of course the boycott is still in place and is still enforced," Muhammad Rashid a-Din, a staff member of the Dubai Customs Department's Office for the Boycott of Israel, told the Post in a telephone interview.
"If a product contained even some components that were made in Israel, and you wanted to import it to Dubai, it would be a problem," he said.
A-Din noted that while the head office for the anti-Israel boycott sits in Damascus, he and his fellow staff members are paid employees of the Dubai Customs Department, which is a division of the PCZC, the same Dubai government-owned entity that runs Dubai Ports World.
Moreover, the Post found that the website for Dubai's Jebel Ali Free Zone Area, which is also part of the PCZC, advises importers that they will need to comply with the terms of the boycott.
US law bars firms from complying with such requests or cooperating with attempts by Arab governments to boycott Israel.
Normally I'd say that boycotting Israel would be enough for me to oppose just about any deal. But we need allies in the Middle East, and we were able to overlook Stalin's repugnance and work with the Russians to defeat Germany. For me it's still a toss-up.