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On the House floor, Democrats failed for the second time in a week to force a debate and vote on separate legislation that would require congressional approval of the takeover for it to take effect after a 45-day security investigation.
Republicans and Democrats in Congress have been assailing the Bush administration for its decision to let DP World purchase Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation, a British company that holds leases at several U.S. ports.
It now looks probable that Congress will scuttle the DP World deal next week. That would be another humiliation for an increasingly weakened president. But there is an awkward truth at the heart of this angry Washington storm. That truth is that Mr Bush, not Congress, is right about the takeover. Dubai is a wealthy, stable and autocratic sheikhdom, a Singapore of the Gulf. The threat to American security from its takeover of a few US ports is negligible. The forces driving the resistance to DP World are ugly and will not help the cause of reintegrating the US with the global consensus. But, as Edwardian Britain found out, the biggest beneficiary of global free trade can also turn into a ferocious protectionist when the winds of insecurity start to blow.
WASHINGTON - Bowing to ferocious opposition in Congress, a Dubai-owned company signaled surrender Thursday in its quest to take over operations at U.S. ports.
“DP World will transfer fully the U.S. operations ... to a United States entity,” the firm’s top executive, H. Edward Bilkey, said in an announcement that capped weeks of controversy.
Relieved Republicans in Congress said the firm had pledged full divestiture.