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Chinese Bicycles

Volume 175: debated on Wednesday 27 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what consultations have been undertaken within the EEC on the French Government plan to control the importation of bicycles of Chinese origin by quota; and if he will support similar measures to be extended to the United Kingdom.

Member states have not yet been consulted about any plans by the French Government to restrict imports of bicycles from China. In seeking such action the French Government would have to submit a formal application to the Commission giving detailed evidence of the injury, or threat of injury, to domestic producers from the imports in question. My officials have received no requests from United Kingdom manufacturers for action to restrict imports into the United Kingdom of Chinese bicycles, but we will consider carefully any case with supporting evidence put forward by the industry.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what has been the percentage increase in Chinese bicycle imports in the current year over 1989; and what action he is proposing to take to protect United Kingdom manufacturing interests.

The percentage increase in imports of bicycles from China to the United Kingdom, for January to April 1990 over the same period for 1989 was 30ยท1 per cent. by volume. Imports of bicycles from China into the United Kingdom are covered by the EC's generalised system of preferences. My Department is in contact with United Kingdom bicycle manufacturers and will be meeting them shortly to discuss what action could be taken.