Washington Congress will closely watch a Dubai-owned company to be sure it transfers its U.S. port operations to an American company, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Sunday.
But Frist, R-Tenn., acknowledged that if an American buyer is not found, and the Bush administration determines there are no security risks, a deal for DP World to manage and operate major U.S. ports still could go through.
"If everything that the president, the administration has said, and that is that there is absolutely no threatening or jeopardy to our security and safety of the American people ... I don't see how the deal would have to be canceled," Frist said on ABC's "This Week."
DP World pledged last week to fully transfer its U.S. port operations amid growing congressional resistance to its $6.8 billion purchase of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. The British company handles significant operations at ports in New Jersey, New York, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia - plus lesser dockside activities at 16 other ports in this country.