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Bush signs ports bill with boycott clause

A bill increasing scrutiny over foreign purchases of American ports signed by President Bush includes a provision targeting the Arab boycott of Israel.

The Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007 “will strengthen our national security by ensuring a thorough and high-level review of acquisitions of U.S. companies by foreign firms that may present security considerations,” Bush said in a statement Thursday.

The bill, which had strong bipartisan backing, was prompted by the planned 2006 purchase by a United Arab Emirates company of companies supervising six major American ports.

The plan was scuttled principally because of fears about foreign access to sensitive U.S. security information, but the UAE’s participation in the boycott was also a factor. The bill mandates a review of boycott adherence by any potential buyer.

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