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Canned Goods

Volume 892: debated on Friday 23 May 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what exetension of tariff quotas Affairs (1) what extensions of tariff quotas for canned goods he has obtained from the EEC since his statement in Luxembourg on 5th June 1974;(2) what undertakings have been given by the EEC countries to reduce the tariff on canned goods and on certain industrial products substantially since his statement in Luxembourg on 5th June 1974.

In my right hon. Friend's statement to the Council of Ministers meeting in Luxembourg on 4th June 1974, he said that the Community's detailed negotiating directive for the multilateral trade negotiations should include an offer—subject naturally to reciprocy—to make substantial reductions on the tariff on some canned goods and on certain industrial products of importance to Commonwealth and developing countries. The suggestion of an extension of tariff quotas was subsumed under their more general request for tariff reductions which will be negotiated in the context of the multilateral trade negotiations.The White Paper on British Membership of the European Community (Cmnd. 6003) clearly sets out that the detailed mandate for the multilateral trade negotiations agreed by the Community in February 1975 provides for the negotiation of further reductions in agricultural tariffs as well as for wide-ranging negotiations on agricultural products in general; for substantial reductions in industrial tariffs; and for particular attention to be paid to the needs of developing countries.In addition, we have already secured important reductions in Community tariffs on canned foodstuffs and certain industrial products in connection with the negotiations with certain Mediterranean countries, under the Lomé Convention, under the Community's extended Generalised Scheme of Preferences and under Article XXIV (6) of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.