HC Deb 17 May 1962 vol 659 cc1515-6
13. Sir T. Moore

asked the President of the Board of Trade what action he proposes to take to help carpet manufacturers in Great Britain, many of whom have erected special machinery at heavy cost, to maintain and expand their exports to the United States of America, in view of the proposed import tax by the United States Government of up to 40 per cent. on carpets imported from the United Kingdom.

Sir K. Joseph

We have made strong representations to the United States Government, both before and after President Kennedy's decision to increase this duty, and consultations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade are now taking place in Geneva.

Sir T. Moore

I welcome the assurance that further negotiations are taking place. Can my hon. Friend explain why the President gives so much lip-service to the need for lowering tariffs yet practises the very opposite?

Sir K. Joseph

We have made no secret of the fact that we deplore this decision. We think that it was taken on wrong grounds and was a wrong decision. We are, therefore, negotiating in the G.A.T.T. about the consequences.