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Multi-Fibre Arrangement

Volume 24: debated on Monday 17 May 1982

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asked the Minister for Trade if he will estimate the level of imports expected in 1983 under the new multi-fibre arrangement in all categories covered by the agreement.

It is impossible reliably to forecast future levels of imports under the multi-fibre arrangement. These will depend not only on the precise quotas still to be negotiated between the Community and the supplying countries, but on the extent to which these quotas are utilised. This in turn will be affected by the level of domestic demand for each product, the competitiveness of United Kingdom manufacturers, the level of imports from other third countries, and the general world economic situation.

asked the Minister for Trade whether he has any evidence to show that restrictions imposed by the multi-fibre arrangement increase the cost of clothes available in British shops; and if he will make a statement.