By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers.
If you thought the 2006 Dubai Ports World issue was a prob, then Congress's look into another foreign security deal could be a real headache. Whispers hears that the House Homeland Security Committee has raised questions about a year-old, $1.9 million deal with a Chinese company, which will X-ray cargo being loaded onto cruise ships in Los Angeles. At issue: The company, Nuctech Inc. of Beijing, is run by the son of China's president Hu Jintao and does business with U.S. foes, including Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela. The firm was the low bidder, and U.S. and British competitors feel Nuctech bid below cost to win the right to get its high-tech scanning machines into a U.S. port. The committee has raised questions, but for now, isn't pursuing a probe. But the case isn't closed. One question: Will Nuctech's computers be hooked up to Department of Homeland Security databases? For competitors, it's a bigger deal than the Dubai Ports World controversy. That was when Congress, worried about letting a foreign firm handle port security, attacked the administration's plan to let a security firm from friendly United Arab Emirates do the job.