//Bush Okays Arab Takeover of US Ports

Bush Okays Arab Takeover of US Ports

Washington, Feb 22 (Prensa Latina) President Bush´ approval of a franchise to United Arab Emirate companies to operate in US ports was greeted with surprise and protest by politicians Wednesday, including within Republican ranks.

The 6.5 billion dollar transaction gives DP World Consortium control of six ports in Miami, New Jersey, New York, Baltimore, New Orleans and Philadelphia.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the transaction went through security scrutiny and the Executive certified it.

Congress and business circles expressed astonishment at the and warned of possible effects on national security, calling the White House decision "autocratic".

Although Bush has threatened to veto any legislation impeding foreign control of US ports, the governors of New York and Maryland already announced they will take steps to cancel these contracts.