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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A United Arab Emirates-owned company has agreed to turn over all of its operations at U.S. ports to an American "entity," Sen. John Warner said Thursday
The announcement comes after congressional leaders reportedly told President Bush that the deal for DP World to assume some operations at six U.S. ports appeared dead on Capitol Hill.
It was unclear how DP would manage the planned divestiture, and Bilkey's statement said its announcement was "based on an understanding that DP World will not suffer economic loss."
The firm finalized its $6.8 billion purchase Thursday of Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co., the British firm that through a U.S. subsidiary runs important port operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia. It also plays a lesser role in dockside activities at 16 other American ports.
Despite the furor, the company's U.S. operations were never the most prized part of the global transaction. DP World valued its rival's American operations at less than 10 percent of the nearly $7 billion total purchase.
But that portion of the deal set off a political chain of events unlike any other in Bush's five years in office. Republicans denounced the deal, saying they were worried about the effects it would have on efforts to make ports safer from terrorist threats. Democrats did likewise, and capitalized on the issue as well as a way to narrow the polling gap with the GOP on issues of national security.
PBS News Hour - Norm Ornstein says:
They have got a dilemma now, because there simply aren’t American companies that have the know-how and the breadth to do this. Interestingly, and perhaps ironically, what I had heard earlier in the day, as they were looking at those that have the — the kind of resources, Halliburton was a name that came up.