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Least Developed Countries: Duty Free Access For Sensitive Products

Volume 620: debated on Wednesday 20 December 2000

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they are taking any action to ensure that sensitive products including sugar are excluded from the European Union Trade Commissioner's "Everything But Arms" initiative. [HL34]

The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry
(Lord Sainsbury of Turville)

The Government agree with the product coverage proposed by the European Commission under the initiative to improve market access for the world's Least Developed Countries (LDCs). However, we recognise the sensitivity of three products—sugar, rice and bananas—and therefore also support the Commission's proposal to phase in duty free treatment for these three products gradually.

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they would support an in-depth analysis conducted by the European Commission of the comprehensive effects of quota free and duty free access and for the outcome to be publicly debated. [HL37]

The European Commission is already in the process of producing an impact study of its proposal, as requested by member states. If the study is published by the Commission, we would welcome it being publicly debated.