The Samoan opposition leader, Le Mamea Ropati, has entered a dispute over whether to privatise Samoa Shipping Services.
The chamber of commerce has spoken out for such a move because the company put private enterprises at a disadvantage.
The transport minister, Palusalue Faapo II, has disputed this, saying the company has not asked for government money and is being run like a private company.
But the opposition leader says keeping Samoa Shipping Services in government ownership contradicts the administration's privatisation policy.
The issue has prompted the shipping company's general manager, Elon Betham, to ask the chairman of the chamber of commerce to apologise publicly for his comments on the matter.