Monday, February 27, 2006
Ports And Airports
If foreign countries can't own our airports, it stands to reason that they shouldn't be running our seaports. It's called common sense.
FRIEDMAN: Gentlemen, how much of this is about an Arab-owned port operator? That is, we know there are many foreign countries, companies that operate ports -- Singapore, for instance -- in the United States. How much of this is about Arabs and Muslims operating one of our ports?
SCHUMER: Well, yeah, I would say this. To me, it's the nexus with terrorism that a country has. If this were a non-Arab country with a nexus of terrorism -- Chechnya, East Timor -- I'd have the same concerns. And it does bring up -- Tom, you do bring up a greater concern. We sort of backed into the idea that port security can be run by other countries, and that's something that should be studied. We've never really studied it. After all, we do have a law prohibiting airports, another security pressure point, that can't be owned by foreign countries. So I think that whatever happens in this United Arab Emirates deal, if we get more focus on port security, which some of us have been trying to do in the Congress for years, some good will come out of this.
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