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United States (High Technology Exports)

Volume 78: debated on Tuesday 30 April 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received regarding the British company, Systime United Kingdom, which has been fined by the United States Government for breaches of the United States export regulations on high technology products; and if he will make a statement.

My Department has had approaches from a number of sources about Systime's difficulties over United States export controls and has discussed the situation with the company. My officials and representatives of the company remain in touch.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether it is the policy of Her Majesty's Government to invoke the Protection of Trading Interests Act 1980 against the United States Government in cases of extra-territorial application of its export regulations for high technology products; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend would be prepared to take this course where he is satisfied that it is the most effective way of safeguarding legitimate United Kingdom interests. It is however a weapon of last resort since it puts firms under directly conflicting requirements of law.