David Wolpert, a former CEO of the Association of Meat Importers and Exporters (AMIE), has objected to being grouped with his former colleagues.
His ire was sparked by an article published last week noting the attacks on South Africa’s trade regulator, the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) by Wolpert, AMIE and AMIE’s trade advisor Donald MacKay. We called them chicken importers and their friends.
Not so, said Wolpert in a letter to our Bulletin.
“I would appreciate it if FairPlay desists from grouping me with importers. I am not one and have not been in touch with them for about two years. I have regularly criticised them,” he wrote.
He then referred to ITAC and its functions:
“I have always said that dumping may well be taking place but I doubt ITAC’s calculations regarding the quantum attributed to dumping because of their method of calculating ‘normal values’.
“ITAC itself describes one of its core functions as ‘to grow investment and employment in SA and follow the aims of the NGP (New Growth Path – a government policy document) and to foster economic growth and development’ in SA by following the general trajectory of SA’s trading policies.
“ITAC is an arm of government via the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition and as far as I am aware its budget is approved by government.
“Is it biased? None of us know the answer to that but the above clearly lays out its mandate, which certainly would be different if it were an entirely independent body,” Wolpert concluded.