Mayor Iorio on UAE possibly buying Tampa Port by Mitch E.Perry

02/23/06

Earlier this week the Tampa Port Authority voted to sign a contract to bring the British company at the center of the Ports controversy to Tampa to run cargo handling at the public agency's docks.

Dubai Ports World is acquiring Peninsular & Oriental Steamship Navigation Co. of London in a $6.8-billion deal due to close March 2.

P&O operates facilities at six major seaports on the East and Gulf coasts, but a firestorm has erupted regarding that company being purchased by Dubai Ports World, a state owned business in the United Arab Emirates.

The Authority voted 6-1 to support let Port Authority Director Richard Wainio to sign a lease with P&O, with only Hillsborough County Commissioner Ronda Storms dissenting. At the meeting, Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio questioned Storms about her vote, asking if she was voting against it because Dubai Ports world is owned by Arabs.

WMNF today asked the Mayor about her vote, and her comment (roll tape#1 o.q.�by another�)

As the Mayor said, if the Tampa Port were to fall into the hands of Dubai Ports World, the Port Authority would vote on that issue at their March meeting.

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