FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Michael Buckley
White House Veto Threat “Dangerously Out of Touch” with Bipartisan Security Concerns
Washington, D.C. . . . The following statement was issued today by Edward Wytkind, President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), in response to the Bush administration decision allowing a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates to operate six major U.S. ports.
“Congress must immediately suspend the Bush administration’s decision allowing a United Arab Emirates company to run operations at six major U.S. seaports. This action, made through a closed, secretive process, raises serious national security concerns which must be thoroughly examined and understood.
“We are outraged at President Bush’s threat to veto a bill requiring a closer look at this plan. The White House is dangerously out of touch with the bipartisan national security concerns coming from both Congress and many of our nation’s mayors and governors. President Bush has regrettably chosen a path of defiance — rather than open and constructive dialogue — on this critical homeland security issue.
“This is yet another example of the dangers of globalism run amok. We must not allow our national security to be compromised in an era of increasingly integrated capital and blurred ownership lines. Recently, the Bush administration proposed allowing foreign interests to control U.S. airlines, a proposal fraught with economic and security risks. And for several years both the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration have ignored congressional mandates to tighten the safety and security of the growing number of overseas facilities which repair U.S. commercial aircraft.
“Since 9/11, U.S. ports have been struggling to meet a number of unfunded federal security mandates, while neither adequately inspecting the cargo containers which travel through our ports, nor fully-utilizing its workforce to enhance security. This latest decision from the Bush administration could further undermine our nation’s ability to better meet port security threats. Congress must move quickly to stop this plan and demand a more comprehensive review of the national security implications of this recent action by the Bush administration.”
TTD represents 29 member unions in the rail, aviation, transit, trucking, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries. For more information, visit www.ttd.org.