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Textile And Clothing Products

Volume 974: debated on Thursday 29 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) in view of the considerable negotiating delay that was experienced in the 12 months before the renewal date of 1 January 1978 for the present 1978–82 multi-fibre arrangement and the delay in implementing detailed quota and growth rates for textile products which led to a considerable weakening of the competitive position of domestic textile industries, if he will reconsider his view that there is no need to initiate negotiations with the European Commission and with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade Textiles Committee before 1981 for the renewal of the multi-fibre arrangement for 1982 onwards;(2) if he will raise with the European Commission the need to shift the responsibility for proving dumping of textile and clothing goods from the domestic industry and trade associations to the importer;(3) if he intends to agree to the European Commission proposal, dated 10 August, adjusting the national shares in respect of certain quantitative limits on imports of textile products originating in third countries; and if he will make a statement on how this affects the negotiations for the 1982 multi-fibre arrangement;(4) how many investigations into alleged subsidised, unfair or illegal trade practices in textiles and clothing products have been initiated and completed by his Department and the European Commission since 1 January 1978, if he will give details of source of complaint, date of commencement, date of completion, and action as a result for each product; and if he will press upon the Commission the need for all such investigations to be completed within one month;(5) what informal arrangements have been agreed with Premier Hua of China, and his trade delegation, on his recent visit to the United Kingdom, regarding compensatory trade in textiles and clothing goods for export to the United Kingdom;(6) what progress has taken place on the proposed new General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade clause authorising emergency safeguard action against selected suppliers of disruptive imports; and what action his Department has taken to press the need for such a clause with the European Commission in view of the disruption caused to domestic textiles industries from increased levels of textile imports;(7) if he will veto the EEC direction on outward processing of textile goods at present before the Council of Ministers, in view of the lack of any justification and research into its overall effects on the locational patterns of the European clothing industries;(8) if any discussions and negotiations on the renewal of the multi-fibre arrangement have begun within the EEC Commission.