[JURIST] CNN is reporting that US Sen. John Warner (R-VA) [official website] has said that Dubai Ports World [corporate website] has decided to transfer operation of six major US ports to a US entity. DP World, a government-owned company from the United Arab Emirates, was set to take over operations after acquiring British shipping company P&O [corporate website].
The prospect of DP World taking over operations of US ports in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia has met with much opposition. After UK courts refused to stop the takeover [JURIST report] and a US federal judge refused to order a full government investigation [JURIST report] into the takeover, the US House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved an amendment [JURIST report] that would block the takeover. That amendment was expected to be debated by the full House next week and similar legislation is being discussed in the Senate. CNN has more.
2:33 PM ET – In a related development Thursday, New Jersey Superior Court Judge Patricia K. Costello denied a request by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey [official website] to terminate the Port Authority's 30-year lease with P&O. The Port Authority filed the lawsuit [JURIST report] late last month in an effort to stop DP World from taking over operations at New York and New Jersey ports. Though she refused to terminate the lease, Costello did allow the Port Authority's lawsuit to continue. AP has more.
3:28 PM ET – Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has pulled legislation from the Senate floor rather than face a possible vote on stopping DP World's takeover of port operations. The Senate voted 51-47 [More from the Floor log] against invoking cloture and ending debate on an amendment to a lobbying reform bill that would halt the ports contract. Rather than allow debate on the contract to continue and a possible vote on the amendment, Frist pulled the legislation from the floor. Reuters has more.