§ Mr. Carmichael
asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) if he will make a statement on the progress of the antidumping investigations being carried out 154W by his Department on the question of shipments of horticultural glass from Eastern Europe; and how much more time will be needed to conclude the investigation;
(2) whether, in view of the serious consequences for employment in the United Kingdom glass industry, as a result of Eastern European shipments of horticultural glass which have now taken 60 per cent. of the United Kingdom market as opposed to 9 per cent. five years ago, and in view of the fact that the employers and trades unions are alleging dumping, he proposes to use his powers to take provisional action for a limited period whilst the detailed investigation is being carried on by his Department.
§ Mr. Meacher
Progress on this case has been hampered by difficulty in finding evidence of imports of comparable products from another country. This is necessary to satisfy Section 4(4) of the Customs Duties (Dumping and Subsidies) Act 1969. But we have recently acquired information which may allow us to proceed at least to a formal investigation. We are in touch with the industry about this new information. I cannot yet say how long the investigations will take. Until we have satisfactory prima facie evidence of dumping and material injury I cannot impose a provisional charge, but as soon as we have such evidence I will, of course, consider it.
§ Mr. Carmichael
asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) which trade agreements regulate trade between the United Kingdom and the following countries: Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania and Hungary; and which provisions of these trade agreements have been invoked by his Department in the carrying out of the detailed investigation into the question of dumping of horticultural glass from these countries;
(2) if he is satisfied that the trade agreements which regulate trade between the United Kingdom and Eastern Europe are sufficient to protect the United Kingdom glass industry from the dumping of horticultural glass from Eastern Europe; and that his Department can establish real comparative production and transport costs in Eastern Europe.
§ Mr. Meacher
The United Kingdom no longer has bilateral trade agreements 155W with any of these countries. Trade between them and members of the Community is now regulated by EEC Council decisions after consultation with member States. This change does not affect dumping, which is governed by the provisions of the Customs Duties (Dumping and Subsidies) Act 1969 and the relevant EEC Regulations. Section 4(4) of the Act provides that dumping of goods from State trading countries is to be established by comparing their United Kingdom import price with that of comparable goods imported from another country. Production and transport costs in Eastern Europe are, therefore, not relevant.