New York City Council Header
File #: Res 0135-2006    Version: * Name: Denouncing President Bush’s support for the approval of Dubai Ports World to acquire six major American ports, including a key terminal in NY Harbor.
Type: Resolution Status: Filed
Committee: Committee on Public Safety
On agenda: 3/1/2006
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution denouncing President Bush’s support for the approval of Dubai Ports World to acquire six major American ports, including a key terminal in New York Harbor.
Sponsors: Gale A. Brewer, Alan J. Gerson, G. Oliver Koppell, David I. Weprin, Peter F. Vallone, Jr., James F. Gennaro, Inez E. Dickens, Lewis A. Fidler, Vincent J. Gentile, Melinda R. Katz, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Michael C. Nelson, Domenic M. Recchia, Jr., James Sanders, Jr., Thomas White, Jr., Simcha Felder
Council Member Sponsors: 16

Res. No. 135

 

Resolution denouncing President Bush’s support for the approval of Dubai Ports World to acquire six major American ports, including a key terminal in New York Harbor.

 

By Council Members Brewer, Gerson, Koppell, Weprin, Vallone Jr., Gennaro, Dickens, Fidler, Gentile, Katz, Mark-Viverito, Nelson, Recchia Jr., Sanders Jr., White Jr. and Felder

 

                     Whereas, Dubai Ports World, a company controlled by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is scheduled to assume a 30-year lease and manage port operations of a major terminal in the Port of New York and New Jersey, as well as acquire terminals in Baltimore, Miami, New Orleans and Philadelphia in March 2006; and

                     Whereas, The United Arab Emirates was deemed by the 9/11 Commission to be “a persistent counterterrorism problem”; according to the 9/11 Commission, the UAE was a critical travel and financial outlet for terrorists, and despite pressure from the United States, the UAE did not break off its ties and enforce sanctions on terrorist networks prior to 9/11; further, the 9/11 Commission’s inquiry found that “the vast majority of the money funding the September 11 attacks flowed through the UAE”; and

                     Whereas, Except for cargo screening functions performed by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the port operator is responsible for securing all cargo entering and exiting the port, maintaining the port facility itself, and hiring port security personnel; yet, only 5 percent of containers entering US ports are inspected by DHS, while the rest are monitored by the port operator; and

                     Whereas, Ports have long been considered vulnerable terrorist targets, and shipping containers provide a means of smuggling dangerous weapons into the country; all points of entry into the United States must be monitored with the utmost diligence to ensure the safety of all Americans; and

Whereas, The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), chaired by US Treasury Secretary John Snow, is charged with the complex task of supporting US investment policy by reviewing foreign acquisitions of US companies to protect national security while preserving the integrity of an open investment policy; however, its approval of Dubai Ports World to assume ownership and manage operations of seaports in six American cities is alarming, given that the UAE has been an outlet for terrorist operations; and

Whereas, This decision by CFIUS, approved by President Bush, has led to strong bi-partisan resistance, uniting Democratic and Republican leaders throughout the nation; Senator Charles Schumer of New York and Representative Peter King of New York are introducing emergency legislation to suspend the acquisition of ports by Dubai Ports World; Senator Hillary Clinton of New York and Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey are introducing legislation to prohibit companies owned or operated by foreign governments from purchasing port operations in the United States; and

Whereas, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee and House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois have both asked for a delay of the Dubai Ports World takeover of American ports; in addition, Governor Pataki of New York and Governor Robert Ehrlich Jr. of Maryland, both Republican leaders, have voiced their strong disapproval of contracting ports in their states to Dubai Ports World; now, therefore, be it

                     Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York denounces President Bush’s support for the approval of Dubai Ports World to acquire six major American ports, including a key terminal in New York Harbor.

JPV

2/24/06

LS#407