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Textile And Clothing Exports

Volume 131: debated on Thursday 14 April 1988

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To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if, in view of the challenge from China to United Kingdom textile and clothing industries, he will make it his policy to adopt a firm stance in the renegotiation of the European Economic Community/China textile agreement due to take place in the current year, and in particular to ensure that China is treated no more favourably than other dominant suppliers.

Preparations for the renegotiation of the EC/China bilateral textiles agreement later this year are at an early stage. My Department is in touch with the United Kingdom textile and clothing industry to obtain its views on United Kingdom priorities for the negotiations, and these will be taken into account when we consider the stance to adopt in the European Community's preparatory discussions. Our position will, of course, recognise the significant place which China now holds as a textile and clothing supplier to the Community market, as well as other relevant factors; for example, the fact that it is a state-trading economy and also a developing country.