The Gulftainer deal: Ports of peril?
A key congressman's call to review the national security implications of a Middle Eastern company's deal to operate a U.S. cargo port should be heeded.
Based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a U.S. ally nevertheless identified as a funding source for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, privately owned Gulftainer has a 35-year contract to run Florida's Port Canaveral, near a busy cruise port and a Navy nuclear-submarine facility. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who chairs a House subcommittee on maritime transportation, wants “a full national security review” of the deal by the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, The Washington Times reports.
Congressional opposition led UAE-based Dubai Ports World to abandon U.S. port plans in 2007. Gulftainer concerns mirror those raised by Hutchison Whampoa — closely tied to China's military — running Suez and Panama canal port facilities and upgrading a Mexican port for Wal-Mart. Security experts' biggest concern — who screens shipping containers — is amplified because a 2007 law requiring all U.S.-bound containers be screened before loading overseas hasn't been enforced due to compliance-deadline extensions.
With one container enough to carry a terrorist weapon of mass destruction, a full review of the Gulftainer deal should be a given.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- The Thursday wrap
- The overtime proposal: Regressive economics
- Brewster advances
- Social Security’s mess
- Apple Music & Taylor Swift: A good & timely lesson
- McKeesport Tuesday Takes
- Collaring the EPA: Hold the cigars
- Confusion resolved: Go River Hawks
- Sunday pops
- The Box
- Connellsville Redevelopment Authority flap: Work it out