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Overseas Countries (Subsidised Exports)

Volume 526: debated on Thursday 8 April 1954

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asked the President of the Board of Trade the policy of his Department when the interests of this country are adversely affected by the action of another signatory of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in subsidising exports.

The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade does not prohibit export subsidies, but provides for consultations if these cause or threaten serious prejudice to the interests of other member countries. We should invoke this provision of the Agreement where-ever this seemed likely to help us.

To what extent has this been invoked in the past, and what occasion has there been for invoking it?

It has practically never been invoked. It is of very limited application. It is necessary to show some serious prejudice to the trader in the country into which the goods are imported. Of course, the maximum damage always operates in third markets.