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Volume 981: debated on Thursday 27 March 1980

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asked the Prime Minister whether she has any plans to visit Elderslie.

Since Elderslie is a centre of the carpet industry, would my right hon. Friend assure those employed in that industry that she will lose no opportunity to draw the attention of our EEC partners in the Commission—at the highest level—to the fact that the Department of Trade has immense support from all parties? Does she accept that we should press for urgent action at Community level in order to deal with unfairly priced American imports?

I am very well aware of the problems facing the carpet industry as a result of cheap imports from the United States and Canada. I am also aware of the problems that face my hon. Friend's constituency. As he knows, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade secured some quotas for polyester yarn and nylon yarn. Unfortunately, he did not do so for carpet imports. The Commission and the Department of Trade are monitoring the situation very closely. They would not hesitate to take further action if that were thought necessary.