HC Deb 02 July 1979 vol 969 cc898-9
19. Mr. Moate

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he is satisfied with the current procedures for dealing with antidumping applications.

Mr. Nott

My hon. Friend the Minister of State and I will visit Brussels next week to discuss anti-dumping generally with the EEC Commissioner responsible, including whether present Commission procedures need improving.

Mr. Moate

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Brussels machinery seems to be even more cumbersome and less effective than the Whitehall machinery used to be? Does he not agree that, at the least, British anti-dumping applications should be initiated by the British Government and then be pursued vigorously?

Mr. Nott

I looked to see how effective the Brussels procedures had been. In fact, since these duties rested with the Commission it has brought in 11 antidumping measures, whereas the average before the Commission took over was about seven a year. Therefore, it cannot be said that the Commission is being inactive.

Dr. Bray

Will the right hon. Gentleman consult the Commissioner particularly on the subsidised importation of capital goods where it is difficult to track down the source of subsidy? Is it not well known that wide subsidies are applied in France, Belgium, Holland and most of the EEC countries?

Mr. Nott

As the hon. Gentleman knows, the Tokyo round negotiations are drawing to a conclusion. A new countervailing code is proposed in the new GATT arrangements which will help substantially in the reduction of subsidised exports of the kind the hon. Gentleman mentions. Therefore, we must press ahead to get the new GATT arrangements implemented.