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France (Import Measures)

Volume 15: debated on Monday 14 December 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he is satisfied that the price and profit margin measures announced by the French Government on 5 October 1981 do not discriminate against imported products.

The French price and profit margin controls are not confined to imports, although they include a three-month freeze on importers' profit margins. They form part of a temporary package of economic support measures introduced following the realignment of EMS currencies. We are watching the situation closely, but it is primarily for the Commission to ensure that there is no discrimination contrary to European Community law.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether retaliatory action is contemplated against imported alcoholic beverages produced in France if the National Assembly of France decides on continued discrimination in taxation against spirituous beverages produced in the United Kingdom.

No. If obligations under the Treaty of Rome are not fulfilled, it is the responsibility of the Commission to take appropriate action under article 169.