Picture: RUSSELL ROBERTS
Picture: RUSSELL ROBERTS

I am sure readers are bored by the ongoing spat between myself and Francois Baird of Fairplay relating to chicken dumping. I find his never-ending attacks on poultry imports tiresome as they comprise a mixture of fact, fiction, exaggeration and distortion.

However, in his latest rant he referred to dumping that supposedly occurred on “my watch” as a former CEO of the Association of Meat Importers & Exporters (“Chicken dumping causes misery”, August 9). So here are the facts: I occupied that post for 10 years. During that time there were numerous tariff actions against chicken imports launched by Baird’s clients. Of these, only two were dumping actions.

The first such action was against Brazilian poultry in 2012, which SA embarrassingly lost when it had to drop the flawed action after Brazil referred the matter to the World Trade Organization. The second was against Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. The action against Germany was successful, but the other two countries received a combination of low and zero duties.

At the time I was happy with all the above outcomes. No dumping was proved against Brazil, and low dumping duties were imposed on two of the other three countries. Baird also knows I have personally stated on numerous occasions that I do not know if dumping is taking place, but if so I believe from the evidence I have seen that the dumping margins are hugely exaggerated.

David Wolpert
Via e-mail

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