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Knitwear And Textiles

Volume 165: debated on Friday 19 January 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the Government in assisting the knitwear and textile industries will offer special financing arrangements for these industries to re-equip with British-made machinery.

[holding answer 15 January]: No. Such arrangements would conflict with the European Commission ban on sectoral aid schemes for the textile and clothing industry. The provision of finance to domestic producers on condition that they buy British goods would in addition be in breach of our GATT and Community obligations. The greatest encouragement to buy British is the availability of competitive British goods and services. My Department's policies are geared to helping business to achieve this.