§ The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mrs. Lynda Chalker)
My right hon. and learned Friend has no plans at present to meet the United States 926 Trade Representative or Commerce Secretary, although my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry met them in Washington on 3 March. My right hon. and learned Friend last discussed EC-US trade issues with Secretary of State Shultz in January, and will be meeting him again on 9 April next.
§ Mr. Stern
Will my hon. Friend or any of her colleagues take the first available opportunity to draw to the attention of any United States Ministers in the list that she mentioned the admirable document that has been placed in the Library by her right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry showing the extent to which the United States aircraft industry is subsidised through military budgets? Will she ask them to stop attacking the extremely successful European aircraft industry on the basis of false figures?
§ Mrs. Chalker
I thank my hon. Friend for that question. He is absolutely right. The way in which the United States aircraft industry has been supported in the past should be considered carefully by those Ministers. The Airbus partners reject the allegations of unfair subsidies. We have acted, and will continue to act, in accordance with GATT. It is clear from the funding of Boeing and McDonnell-Douglas just how much United States money has been put into defence-related projects in the United States, and that must be clearly borne in mind in any discussions of such trade matters.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. I shall take the hon. Gentleman's point of order after the private notice question.