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Manufactured Goods (Imports)

Volume 981: debated on Tuesday 18 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade, further to his reply to the hon. Member for Grimsby of 21 February concerning imports from the United States of America, whether he considers imports of 4 per cent. of domestic consumption by area, weight, volume or price constitutes material or serious injury to domestic industry.

Neither "material injury" in the context of the anti-dumping code, nor "serious injury" in the context of safeguard action, is defined quantitatively either in the GATT or in the parallel Community legislation. The figure for import penetration will in any event by only one of the factors involved; the rate at which imports have increased may be equally important. But import penetration of 4 per cent would not normally be regarded as sufficient to constitute serious injury for the purposes of safeguard action. We sought action on imports of tufted carpets from the USA because we recognised the need to deal with downstream products; not because of the level of import penetration.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will circulate in the Official Report a list of United Kingdom industries which produce goods of which more than 4 per cent. of consumption originated in the European Economic Community.

The detailed information requested cannot be provided without disproportionate cost. Overall, imports of manufactured products from the other members of the European Community accounted for 13 per cent. of United Kingdom consumption in the 12 months ended September 1979.