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Multi-Fibre Arrangement

Volume 35: debated on Thursday 27 January 1983

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asked the Minister for Trade if he has yet published the details of the bilateral agreements reached under the multi-fibre arrangement in 1982; if he will publish in the Official Report a summary of the quota levels to be permitted for imports of textiles and clothing in 1986 compared with the actual level of imports in 1982 for each of the group I products and for the main group II products; if he will express the 1986 figure as a percentage of the 1982 figure; and if he will make a statement.

[pursuant to the reply, 21 January 1983, c. 245–6]: Details of the main features in the bilateral agreements reached under the multi-fibre arrangement in 1982 were given to the House in my statement on 14 December last. As I said then, the texts of all the agreements, once they have been formally signed, will be submitted to the appropriate Committees of both Houses in the usual way. Publication of the council regulations containing the quotas for 1983 has been delayed by printing difficulties but the Commission is making every effort to ensure that these regulations appear in the official journal as soon as possible.It would not be meaningful to compare the quota entitlements for group I and group II products in 1986 with actual imports in 1982. The 1983 quotas have been established on the basis of the 1982 quotas with certain adjustments including cutbacks of 7 to 8 per cent. in the clothing quotas of the dominant suppliers. Thereafter annual growth rates on group I quotas will be less than 1 per cent.; and in general by less than the MFAII growth rates in group II. Utilisation of the quotas in 1986 will depend on a range of factors which cannot at this stage be predicted.