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Bilateral Trade Negotiations (Consultation With Industry)

Volume 498: debated on Wednesday 9 April 1952

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asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will make a statement with regard to the conduct of trade negotiations with overseas countries to reassure industry that their views of industries affected will be given the fullest consideration.

My preliminary view is that the procedure adopted by production Departments for consultation with the industries for which they are responsible does substantially meet the interests of industry, but this is a matter on which I should welcome the views of exporting industries themselves. After consultation with the Federation of British Industries, the National Union of Manufacturers and the Association of British Chambers of Commerce, therefore, I have asked my hon. Friend the Secretary for Overseas Trade to preside over a small committee consisting of senior officials of the Board of Trade and the Ministry of Supply, and representatives of each of these three trade organisations. The terms of reference of the committee are:

"To review current procedures for consultation with industry in connection with bilateral trade negotiations especially in so far as they relate to quotas or similar arrangements affecting United Kingdom exports and to recommend any changes in these procedures which appear to the committee to be desirable and practicable."