A United Arab Emirates-based ports company says it is in talks with U.S. operators to expand into the American market.

Managing director of Gulftainer, Peter Richards, says the company is in discussions for an east coast location in the United States. His comments were first reported by the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper, The National, and confirmed to The Associated Press on Monday.

Gulftainer is a privately owned port management and logistics company based in the emirate of Sharjah. Owned by Crescent Enterprise, Gulftainer currently operates 11 ports and two inland container depots across the world.

The talks are taking place seven years after Dubai's government-backed port operator DP World abandoned similar plans in 2006 after several U.S. lawmakers expressed concerns about Mideast ownership and port security.