§ 50. Mr. Teddy Taylor
asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will seek powers to implement a restraint agreement on steel imports with the rest of the European Economic Community; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Butcher
My right hon. Friend does not intend to proceed as suggested. Although the level of steel imports from other member States of the EC is a cause of concern, the import penetration of the United Kingdom market is significantly lower than that of a number of our European competitors. The urgent need is to restore price stability and discipline to the European steel market. The Government are discussing with the Commission and other member States ways to improve respect and policing of the rules. My right hon. Friend will pursue this issue at the informal meeting of EC Industry Ministers on 18 November.
§ 52. Mr. Michael Brown
asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he is satisfied with the current level of imports of steel from other members of the European Economic Community.
§ Mr. Butcher
The Government are concerned at the level of steel imports from other members of the EC, which, like last year, remain considerably higher than in the years before 1980, the year of the BSC strike. My right hon. Friend is determined to ensure that the ECSC rules on prices and quota arrangements are observed scrupulously by all member States in order to prevent unfair competition from such imports. My right hon. Friend is discussing ways of improving the policing of the rules with Vice-President Davignon and individually with certain Community colleagues, and will pursue the matter at an informal meeting of the EC Industry Ministers on 18 November.