The Senate Commerce Committee’s Hearing on the takeover of 6 U.S. ports by Dubai Ports Word, is under full swing today. A live stream of the hearing is available here.
John Kerry was the first to make an opening statement today. Among his many concerns on the deal are port security, which has been an issue that Kerry has championed for a very long time (see previous posts here and here); Treasury Secretary John Snow’s possible connections to Dubai Ports World and Bush’s nomination of David Sanborn, a DP World executive, to head the Maritime Administration.
Last week Senator John Kerry sent a letter to Treasury Secretary and chair of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States John Snow. In the letter, Kerry wrote:
[M]edia reports have cited ties between Administration officials and [Dubai Ports World] that raise questions about the basis for the approval of this sale by CFIUS. As you know, the CSX rail corporation, where you previously served as Chief Executive Officer, sold its port operations to DP in 2004. Moreover, the President’s nominee for Administrator of the Maritime Administration, David Sanborn, was DP’s Head of Operations for Latin America while this transaction was being reviewed by CFIUS. In light of these connections, Congress needs to learn more about the relationship between CFIUS members and DP, and whether Administration officials could have unduly influenced CFIUS’s approval process.
As reported today by AP News, Senator Kerry announced last week that he was prepared to put a hold on the nomination of David Sanborn until the administration fully disclosed details of the ports deal.
Below is a statement from Senator John Kerry on Sanborn’s nomination:
“Unless the administration gives us the facts about this ports deal, I’m prepared to put a hold on their nominee to head the Maritime Administration. He worked for Dubai Ports World when this deal was rushed through under cover of darkness without sufficient security review. In the post 9/11 world, we need to know why.”