asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will make a statement on the latest situation regarding Anglo-Soviet trade.
The Government believe that trade should continue to be developed where this is genuinely in the interest of both countries.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will list the British companies which have made use of the £950 million credit facilities extended to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; and what were the main goods involved in each deal.
Details of contracts financed through the Anglo-Soviet credit agreement are confidential between the commercial parties concerned. It is not, therefore, the practice to disclose this information publicly.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what is the current position in relation to the export of technology to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Soviet bloc.
As my right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal informed the House on 24 January—[Vol. 977, c. 658]—we are studying with other countries the tighter application of the COCOM rules for controlling the transfer of sensitive technology to the Soviet Union.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what steps he proposes to take to ban the import into the United Kingdom of subsidised Union of Soviet Socialist Republics exports which compete unfairly with British products and provide the Soviet Union with foreign exchange.
[pursuant to his reply, 31 January 1980]; Anti-dumping action is a matter for the EEC Commission. If my right hon. Friend has evidence that goods from the Soviet Union are being dumped in this country or in any other member State and that this is causing injury to EEC industry my Department will be ready to consider it and, if appropriate, to assist in preparing a case to the Commission.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether minimum rates of interest charged on export credits covering exports of United Kingdom made capital goods to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics are less than the minimum rate of interest likely to be charged to a British manufacturer wishing to bor- row to purchase the same capital goods; what information he has on how big such a differential is likely to be; and to what extent the differential has changed since the statement by the Lord Privy Seal on Afghanistan.
[pursuant to his reply, 31 January 1980]: The rates of interest charged on export credits of two years or more covering exports to all markets outside the European Economic Community are lower than the minimum rate of interest likely to be charged to a British manufacturer to finance the purchase of similar capital goods. The arrangements under which export credit is supported enable our exporters to provide credit to overseas buyers at interest rates which are both broadly comparable with those of our competitors and in line with the levels set by international agreement. Without such support, which most of our major competitors also provide, United Kingdom exporters would be at a serious competitive disadvantage. The difference between interest rates applicable to similar domestic and export transactions on credit terms is currently substantial.The Lord Privy Seal's recent announcement will result in the abolition of a differential that has existed within the United Knigdom's general export credit arrangements in favour of certain export credits extended to the USSR.
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will give an assurance that capital goods will not be exported to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on more favourable payment terms than those currently available to United Kingdom industry.
[pursuant to his reply, 31 January 1980]: The payment terms on which capital goods are purchased by companies in the United Kingdom are a matter for negotiation with their suppliers and financiers, taking account of the benefits provided by Government to encourage investment in such plant.Payment terms for capital goods exports to the USSR are officially supported on essentially the same basis as for capital goods exports world wide; international agreement prescribes the minimum down payments and interest rates and maximum lengths of credit that may be given such support. I am, therefore, unable to give the assurance sought.