Monday, April 28
Fury at agriculture post for US businessman
Heather Stewart, The Guardian, April 28, 2003
Oxfam last night launched a scathing attack on the man the US has put in charge of agricultural reconstruction in Iraq.
Dan Amstutz is a former senior executive of Cargill, the biggest grain exporter in the world, and served in the Reagan administration as a trade negotiator in the Uruguay round of world trade talks.
Oxfam is concerned that his involvement is an example of the potentially damaging commercialisation of the reconstruction effort in Iraq, which it would prefer to see conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.
Kevin Watkins, Oxfam's policy director, said Mr Amstutz would "arrive with a suitcase full of open-market rhetoric", and was more likely to try to dump cheap US grain on the potentially lucrative Iraqi market than encourage the country to rebuild its once-successful agricultural sector.
"Putting Dan Amstutz in charge of agricultural reconstruction in Iraq is like putting Saddam Hussein in the chair of a human rights commission," Mr Watkins said. [...]