Skip to main content

British Book Printing

Volume 87: debated on Wednesday 27 November 1985

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has had concerning United States trade restrictions affecting British book printing.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
(Mr. Michael Howard)

We have had several approaches from hon. Members expressing concern about a discriminatory element of United States copyright law, the manufacturing clause, which is wholly unjustified.

I thank my hon. and learned Friend for that encouraging reply. In view of the deep concern felt in Norwich and elsewhere about the rule-breaking by the United States, will he tell us what representations he is making to the United States authorities about that practice? What action does he propose to take if it appears likely that that damaging clause will be extended?

My right hon. and learned Friend visited Washington last month and reminded the United States Administration of our objections to the clause and our expectation that they would work towards its abolition. Earlier this month the European Community sent a formal letter to the United States Government reminding them of their breach of international obligations.

Is my hon. and learned Friend aware that the British publishing industry is equally concerned about piracy, particularly on the part of Taiwan? Will he give an assurance that the Government are apprised of the situation?