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Trade With United States Of America

Volume 721: debated on Thursday 25 November 1965

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asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps he is taking, other than through polylateral international negotiations, to correct the imbalance of trade between the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

I am taking all possible steps to increase our exports to this vitally important market. All the facilities available to help our exporters throughout the world are available to exporters to the U.S.A. These include financial assistance for trade missions; financial and other support for exhibitors at overseas trade fairs; E.C.G.D. facilities; the export rebate scheme; and the provision of information and advice by the Board of Trade at home and the commercial diplomatic officers at the Embassy and Consular posts throughout the U.S.A.Many promotions by retail stores in the U.S.A. featuring British goods are supported and encouraged by my Department, and my hon. Friend will be aware of the recent highly successful fashion show which received assistance and encouragement from the Board of Trade.The British National Export Council's Committee for Exports to the U.S.A., under the chairmanship of Lord Watkinson, is actively engaged in the encouragement of exports to this market. Among the services it offers is the provision of advice on marketing in America through the British Exports Marketing Advisory Committee in New York. The Committee for Exports is supporting the British Trade Centre in New York, which will open next year with assistance from the Board of Trade.

asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the cumulative trade deficit with the United States of America for the latest three-year period for which figures are available.

The crude trade deficit in the three-year period ended 31st October, 1965, was £493 million. It has been calculated as the difference between imports valued c.i.f. and exports plus re-exports valued f.o.b., after adjustment of the figures for the earlier part of the period to the 1965 basis.

asked the President of the Board of Trade what official representations have been made to the United States Government about the adverse effect on British exporters of the Buy American Act, in view of the fact that this Act as applied federally or by individual States is in conflict with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

Imports of pig meat during the twelve months ended 30th September, 1965
Meat, fresh, chilled or frozen:
Pork (excluding offals)—
Chilled or frozen106,9871,362
Edible offals of bovine animals, sheep, goats, swine etc.—
Pig products (including edible heads and feet)474,0753,667
Meat and edible meat offals (excluding poultry liver), salted, in brine, dried or smoked but not cooked, whether or not in airtight containers:
Pig products—
Meat in airtight containers, not elsewhere specified, and meat preparations, whether or not in airtight containers:
Other prepared or preserved meat or meat offal—
In airtight containers—
Pig products—
Bacon and hams—
Ground or chopped28,552575
Ground or chopped204,3913,840
Not in airtight containers—
Pig products5,70258

We have repeatedly made representations to the United States authorities over a long period about the effect on British exports of the Buy American policies adopted by the Federal Government and by many State Governments in the United States. In the Kennedy Round of trade negotiations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade we have formally represented our serious concern at the damage to our trade caused by the preference for domestics products in purchases by United States public authorities and we are pressing the United States Government in these negotiations to phase out these preferences.