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Volume 888: debated on Wednesday 12 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will give consideration to changing the present procedure regarding allegations made about dumping in respect of textiles, to a system which would mean that if, prima facie, a case had been made out by an interested party in the United Kingdom the onus of disproving such a charge would be on the agent or country supplying the textiles ; and if he will make a statement.

I have given considerable thought to this question and I believe that a change in the present practice would have damaging implications for our trade.We already have the power to impose provisional charges to anti-dumping duties if, on the facts then available, dumping appears to be taking place. But so far as substantive duties are concerned it would be improper to impose them under the legislation if we did not ourselves carry out a thorough investigation.In any case, where GATT countries are involved we have to be satisfied that there is actual or threatened material injury, and for this more than the evidence of the exporter is necessary.