A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

New Jersey filing suits to block port takeover by Arab company

[JURIST] New Jersey is launching legal actions in federal and state court to keep a company from the United Arab Emirates [official website] from taking over US port operations in the state, Gov. Jon Corzine [official website; press release] said Tuesday. Corzine said the New Jersey attorney general will file a complaint in federal district court while the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will file a suit in state court. The suit claims that the Bush administration's approval of a $6.8 billion takeover by Dubai Ports World [corporate website] of P&O, the British firm currently holding the operating rights over six major US seaport facilities, including New Jersey's Port Newark, encroaches on the sovereignty of the states in violation of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution. The state court action seeks an injunction to stop the sale until the state's security concerns are satisfied. The governors of New York and Maryland have threatened similar court actions [JURIST report] against DP World takeovers of US port operations in their states.

Despite widespread opposition from both parties, President Bush - who has said he was unaware of the deal [AP report; press briefing transcript] when it was approved - continues to defend the sale and has threatened to veto any legislation that attempts to block it. New York Senator Hillary Clinton, among others, has said she plan introduce such legislation [press release]. The Times of Trenton has more. Several Senate committees have already announced they are investigating the sales: the Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing March 1, the Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing March 2, and the Senate Armed Services Committee will receive a briefing this Thursday on the deal's national security implications. Reuters has more.

8:49 PM ET - AP is reporting that it has obtained documents showing that the Bush administration imposed conditions on its approval of the ports operating rights sale, including cooperation by DP World with any future US investigations and disclosure of internal operations records on demand.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.