HL Deb 11 May 1978 vol 391 cc1253-4WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are the total annual United Kingdom imports from, and exports to, Canada and what proportion of such goods were admitted duty free by each country.

Baroness STEDMAN

In 1977 United Kingdom imports from Canada were valued at £1,230 million cif and exports to Canada at £713 million fob. To establish how much of this trade was free of duty would entail undue cost. United Kingdom imports are subject to the EEC Common Customs Tariff (CCT), of which the median rate for industrial goods is about 8 per cent. Products which are free of duty and are prominent among our imports from Canada include metalliferous ores, pulp for paper making, unwrought copper and nickel, and some timber products. Analysis of United Kingdom imports in 1974 on the basis of the present CCT indicates that approximately 59 per cent of industrial products imported from Canada in that year would currently be free of duty. A similar figure may be assumed to apply to the current pattern of imports of industrial products. Import duties on United Kingdom industrial exports to Canada are currently concentrated between 10 per cent. and 15 per cent., but some mainly industrial items enter duty-free.