News Releases

(SEATTLE, WA) -- Today, Senator Patty Murray joined colleagues on both ends of the political spectrum to express concern about the Bush Administration’s approval of Dubai Ports World’s purchase of P&O Steam Navigation Company.

In addition to supporting a delay of the transaction, Sen. Murray called for increased attention for port security from the Administration and Congress. Murray has worked for months with Homeland Security Chair Sen. Susan Collins to co-author comprehensive, bipartisan port security legislation -- dubbed the GreenLane Maritime Cargo Security Act -- to take the unprecedented but necessary steps to ensure cargo security.

Murray's full statement follows:

"Outsourcing the ownership of this critical homeland security priority to Dubai Ports World without a thorough review makes no sense at all. This transaction requires further review and should not be approved until we complete a full congressional investigation of the deal and the implications it may hold for our nation's security.

"But what's more troubling is that this fits Bush Administration pattern of failing to safeguard our ports and trade infrastructure.

"For years we've known that our ports are vulnerable, and even the 9/11 Commission identified them as a possible target for terrorists. But for too long, the Bush Administration has dragged its feet on the issues of cargo and port security. At one hearing in February 2004, then Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said we should leave port security funding to private port operators – companies like Dubai Ports World. [See: 2/10/04 News Release]

"This consistently dismissive position is unacceptable. The American people need to know that our ports are secure and the cargo entering our country is safe, no matter whose hands it may have passed through. This is precisely why Sen. Collins and I have introduced the GreenLane legislation.

"For too long we've ignored this issue. It is now time that we put the American people’s interests first and put the U.S. in charge of our own cargo security."

More information on the GreenLane Maritime Cargo Security Act