HC Deb 25 January 1982 vol 16 cc267-8W
Miss Wright

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what is the latest information he has on whether or not the United States of America is likely to ban the import of British steel products; and what steps the Government propose to take.

Mr. Peter Rees

An outright ban on imports of United Kingdom steel products into the United States has not been proposed. Several United States steel manufacturers have petitioned for countervailing and anti-dumping duties to be imposed on imports of certain steel products from a number of countries including the United Kingdom. The United States Department of Commerce has till February 1 to decide whether to accept the petitions and open inquiries. In the case of petitions which are accepted, the inquiries will then be pursued according to statutory timetables. In the event of adverse findings, countervailing and anti-dumping duties would be imposed on imports of the products concerned, the earliest date for this being in June 1982. I cannot forecast the level of any such duties, but they would clearly have a serious impact on the level of steel imports into the United States. The European Commission is in urgent consultation with the United States Government about the potential consequences of these petitions for Community steel industries, and the Government are participating fully in that process.