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Textile Imports (Manufactured Goods)

Volume 976: debated on Friday 21 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) how many woven shirts were imported into the United Kingdom from the People's Republic of China in the first nine months of the current year; how this compares with the similar period in 1978; and what percentage increase this represents;(2) how many woven shirts were imported into the United Kingdom from the Philippines in the first nine months of the current year; what was the figure for the comparable period in 1978; what percentage increase this represents; and what action he intends to take to provide fair competition for home-based industry;(3) what is the percentage increase in the import of woven shirts into the United Kingdom in the first nine months of the current year and over the similar period in 1978; what percentage of this increase is accounted for by state trading and low cost countries; and if he will make a statement.

[pursuant to his reply, 17 December 1979, c. 40–42]: In the first nine months of the current year United Kingdom imports of woven shirts rose by 24 per cent. compared with the same period in 1978. Imports from the centrally planned economies and other low-cost countries accounted for 87 per cent. of the increase. These figures reflect increased consumer demand and the cost advantage enjoyed by low-cost suppliers. Imports of woven shirts consigned from China and the Philippines are given in the table below. A large proportion of the imports from the Philippines in 1979 (which include imports for re-export not counting against quotas) were shipped at the end of 1978 under that year's quota and arrived in the first three months of 1979. The Philippines is a new supplier of shirts to the United Kingdom, and these goods did not come under quota until late in 1978. There is a quota of 265,000 pieces for 1979, and of 276,000 pieces for 1980.

Numbers
January-September 1978January-September 1979Percentage increase
China223,574365,96764
Philippines19,668535,8732,625

Source: United Kingdom Overseas Trade Statistics (SITC (Rev. 2) Sub-group 844.1).

asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) how many woven suits were imported from Portugal into the United Kingdom in the first nine months of 1978; what is the figure for the first nine months of the current year; and if there has been an increase, how and to what factors he attributes this outcome;

  • (2) how many woven suits were imported into the United Kingdom from the Philippines in the first nine months of the current year; how this figure compares with the similar period in 1978; if there has been an increase; and to what factors he attributes this result;
  • (3) how many woven suits were imported from Poland, Romania and Yugoslavia, respectively, into the United Kingdom in the first nine months of 1979; how this figure compares with the similar period in 1978; if there has been an increase; and to what factors he attributes this result;
  • (4) how many woven suits were imported from Hong Kong into the United Kingdom in the first nine months of 1979; how this figure compares with the similar period in 1978; if there has been an increase; and to what factors he attributes this result;
  • (5) how many woven suits were imported from Cyprus into the United King- dom in the first nine months of 1978; what is the figure for the first nine months of 1979; what percentage increase this represents; and to what factors he attributes this change.
  • [pursuant to his reply. 17 December 1979, c. 40–42]: Imports of woven suits consigned from these countries are shown in the following tables. The changes from 1978 to 1979 can be assumed to reflect changes in the competitiveness of the products relative to those from other sources, and an increase in consumer demand.

    I. MEN'S AND BOYS' WOVEN SUITS (1)
    Numbers
    January-September 1978January-September 1979
    Portugal32,644171,991
    Philippines3,00028,369
    Poland44,01540,082
    Romania148,383195,555
    Yugoslavia99,962109,688
    Hong Kong67,574223,859
    Cyprus10,32222,532
    II. WOMEN'S, GIRLS' AND INFANTS' WOVEN SUITS AND COSTUMES (2)
    Numbers
    January-September 1978January-September 1979
    Portugal13,0248,970
    Philippines5,6403,730
    Poland
    Romania61
    Yugoslavia
    Hong Kong204,518299,625
    Cyprus12,14840,601

    Source: United Kingdom Overseas Trade Statistics [(1) SITC (Rev. 2) Sub-groups 842.2 and (2) 843.2].

    Notes:

    (i) In the first nine months of the current year imports from Cyprus of men's and boys' woven suits rose by 118 per cent. And imports of women's, girls' and infants' woven suits and costumes by 234 per cent., compared with the same period in 1978.

    (ii) Imports of men's and boys' suits from Portugal and Cyprus are not subject to any restraint level, and there is no quota for the Philippines. The rise in imports from Hong Kong, Romania and Yugoslavia reflects increased usage within the quotas.

    (iii) The only increases in imports of women's, girls' and infants' woven suits are from Hong Kong and Cyprus. There is no restraint level for Cyprus or Portugal, and no quotas for the Philippines, Poland, Romania or Yugoslavia. Imports from Hong Kong again reflect increased usage within the quota.