To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if he has received a copy of the National Consumer Council report, "International Trade and the Consumer Working Paper 2: Textiles and Clothes"; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he has received a copy of the National Consumer Council report, "International Trade and the Consumer Working Paper 3: Shoes; the Cost of Neglecting Consumers' Interests"; and if he will make a statement.
The National Consumer Council sent copies of its working papers 2 and 3, on textiles and clothes, and shoes, respectively, to all DTI Ministers. We welcome the general thrust of the NCC's conclusions in both papers that the cost to consumers should be taken into account whenever trade restrictions are under consideration. This is a point we regularly make in Community discussions. It needs to be balanced against other interests including those of our producers. I look forward to seeing the final conclusions of the NCC's study.