The Bush administration will conduct a highly unusual second review of potential security risks in a business deal it previously approved for a United Arab Emirates-based company to take over significant operations at six leading US ports.
The new, 45-day investigation is aimed at averting an impending political showdown as Congress returned to Washington today from a week-long break.
“We think this is a good middle ground that has been found,” White House press secretary Scott McClellan said.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who helped negotiate the plan, quickly recommended that lawmakers wait for the outcome before acting on legislation to delay or block the deal. Frist said he expects oversight hearings to continue this week.
In six pages of legal documents sent on Sunday to the White House, Dubai-based DP World offered to submit to a second, broader investigation of its plans to run shipping terminals in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.