HC Deb 06 April 1950 vol 473 c1341
20. Mr. Dodds-Parker

asked the President of the Board of Trade in view of the heavy increases in duty which have been imposed on certain goods entering the United States of America, as indicated in the Board of Trade Journal of 11th March, what action he will take within the terms of the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade to secure a reduction in these duties.

Mr. H. Wilson

A multilateral tariff conference under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade will begin at Torquay in September, 1950, and it is the intention that the United Kingdom should then negotiate with the United States for reductions over a wide area of the United States tariff. My Department is already in consultation with United Kingdom industry about the reductions to be sought.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

Cannot the President of the Board of Trade do something before next September to stop the increase in these tariffs, which is up to 110 per cent. ad valorem?

Mr. Wilson

The increases to which the hon. Member refers are in items which have not been bound—that is, agreed not to be increased—under previous trade agreements.

Mr. Russell

Are not these increases contrary to the whole spirit of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which was meant to reduce tariffs and not increase them?

Mr. Wilson

It is the desire of all of us in this House to see that tariffs are reduced, and some reductions have been achieved, but these items were not covered by the General Agreements or by other trade agreements.

Back to