§ 12.16 p.m.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (Mr. Anthony Grant)
I beg to move,That the Anti-Dumping Duty Order, 1970 (S.I., 1970, No. 1013), dated 10th July, 1970, a copy of which was laid before this House on 16th July, be approved.
§ Mr. Speaker
It has been suggested to me, and both sides agree, that we should take at the same time the Anti-Dumping Duty (No. 3) Order:That the Anti-Dumping Duty (No. 3) Order, 1970 (S.I., 1970, No. 1558), dated 21st October, 1970, a copy of which was laid before this House on 23rd October, be approved.Is there any objection? The first will be moved, but we can speak about both.
§ Mr. Grant
As both the Orders have been made under the Customs Duties (Dumping and Subsidies) Act, 1969, I think it is convenient to take them together. They both form part of the action taken in response to an anti-dumping application which was made in December, 1969, concerning straight nitrogenous fertilisers.
The Anti-Dumping Duty Order, 1970, imposes an anti-dumping duty of £5 a ton on ammonium sulphonitrate originating in the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Anti-Dumping Duty (No. 3) Order, 1970, imposes a duty of £15 a ton on calcium ammonium nitrate originating in the Republic of South Africa. The rates of these duties were determined in relation to the margin of dumping established. As is normal, both Orders provide for relief from anti-dumping duty under Section 2 of the Act for any imports which are shown not to have been dumped, or not to have been dumped to the full extent of the duty.
By way of background, I should explain that an application was made in December, 1969, by the British fertiliser producers for anti-dumping action to be taken 1449 against imports of the nitrogenous fertilisers calcium ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulphonitrate and ammonium nitrate, from a number of European countries including the Federal Republic of Germany. These three fertilisers are largely interchangeable.
After a preliminary examination, the Board of Trade concluded that a prima facie case of dumping and consequent material injury had been made out, and that it was necessary to impose provisional charges to duty on imports of calcium ammonium nitrate from the countries involved because of a serious threat that substantial imports of this product for the 1970 fertiliser season would have taken place before a full investigation of the case could be completed. These provisional charges were imposed by the Anti-Dumping (Provisional Charge to Duty) Order, 1970, laid before the House on 19th February and the Anti-Dumping (Provisional Charge to Duty) (No. 2) Order, 1970, laid on 11th March. Since then there have been virtually no further imports of calcium ammonium nitrate at dumped prices from the countries to which these Orders applied.
At the conclusion of its investigation, the Board of Trade announced on 19th May, 1970, that it was satisfied that imports of calcium ammonium nitrate from all the countries concerned had taken place at dumped prices and that this dumping had caused material injury to the British industry. This conclusion was reached after visits by officials to most of the countries concerned and a detailed examination by our accountants of the effect of the dumping on the financial returns of the British producers.
All the suppliers concerned undertook not to export calcium ammonium nitrate to the United Kingdom at dumped prices in future. The effect of such undertakings was considered equivalent to the imposition of anti-dumping duties, and anti-dumping duties were not imposed.
The announcement of 19th May also said that, if evidence was received of significant imports of calcium ammonium nitrate from other countries or of ammonium sulphonitrate or ammonium nitrate from any country at dumped prices, urgent consideration would be 1450 given to extending anti-dumping action to those imports.
Shortly afterwards, evidence was received that substantial quantities of ammonium sulphonitrate were being imported into the United Kingdom from the Federal Republic of Germany at prices which appeared to constitute dumping. These imports added to the material injury caused to the British nitrogenous fertiliser producers by the dumped imports of calcium ammonium nitrate. The Anti-Dumping Duty Order, 1970, was accordingly made and took effect from 17th July, 1970. This is the first of the two Orders that I invite the House to approve.
Two months later, evidence was received of an order having been placed in South Africa for a substantial quantity of calcium ammonium nitrate at a dumped price. In accordance with the warning given in the previous announcements the Anti-Dumping Duty (No. 3) Order was made and took effect from 24th October, 1970.
I therefore invite the House to approve the two Orders.
§ 12.22 p.m.
§ Mr. Merlyn Rees (Leeds, South)
I rise to make only two brief comments. I am not sure whether this is the first time that the Under-Secretary has spoken from the Dispatch Box.
§ Mr. Rees
If it had been, it would have given me the opportunity to congratulate the hon. Member, who is almost my Member of Parliament.
Secondly, these Orders arise out of the work of the previous Administration. This is one case in which the Government can say, "This is the previous Administration", and on that the opposition rest.
§ Question put and agreed to.
That the Anti-Dumping Duty Order, 1970 (S.I., 1970, No. 1013), dated 10th July, 1970, a copy of which was laid before the House on 16th July, be approved.
That the Anti-Dumping Duty (No. 3) Order, 1970 (S.I., 1970, No. 1558), dated 21st October, 1970, a copy of which was laid before this House on 23rd October, be approved.—[Mr. Grant.]