Dubai Ports World bid to takeover Britain's P&O, which runs terminal operations at six major US ports, has triggered a political firestorm in the United States.

Senator Hilary Clinton has voiced vigorous opposition to the $6.8 billion takeover, saying it threatens US national security.

She is attempting to push legislation through Congress that seeks to block the deal, partly on the grounds that DP World is foreign-government owned.

On his part, Clinton, who the paper said was paid $300,000 in 2002 to address a summit in Dubai, has advised Dubai officials on how to soothe US concerns over the deal.

US ally

A spokesman for the former president, told the FT: "Mr Clinton, who this week called the United Arab Emirates a 'good ally to America,' advised Dubai's leaders to propose a 45-day delay to allow for an intensive investigation of the acquisition."

DP World has agreed with the White House to undertake a more lengthy review process of the deal, despite already receiving government approval for it to proceed.

The takeover would see DP World run ports at Baltimore, Miami, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia.