HC Deb 29 February 1980 vol 979 cc795-6W
Mr. Bradley

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what protection measures are currently in existence to curtail imports of (a) shoes and (b) knitwear; what changes have been introduced since May 1979; and what effect this is having.

Mr. Parkinson

On footwear, there are quotas on imports of non-leather footwear from Taiwan and the Eastern bloc, voluntary restraint arrangements for imports of leather footwear from Poland, Czechoslovakia and Romania, and an industry to industry understanding on imports of all footwear from South Korea. All these arrangements were in operation during 1979 and have been or will be renewed for 1980.

On textiles, the European Community has 27 formal bilateral agreements with low-cost supplying countries, voluntary restraint arrangements with eight countries which enjoy a preferential trade arrangement with the Community, and autonomous restrictions on Taiwan and six State trading countries. All these arrangements include actual or potential restraints on imports of knitwear. Since May 1979 the voluntary restraint arrangements with Malta, Cyprus and Mauritius have been concluded and that with Greece has been extended for a further year. A formal bilateral agreement has been reached with China and six new quotas have been introduced on knitwear products.

I am satisfied that these arrangements have been effective in reducing imports of knitwear from low-cost sources below the level they would otherwise have reached.