HC Deb 16 November 1987 vol 122 c399W
Mr. McCrindle

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what progress has been made at the Uruguay round of talks concerning the general agreement on tariffs and trade.

Mr. Butcher

We are nearing the end of the first phase of this important negotiation, which will set the rules for the international trading system into the next century. It is essential to re-establish respect for the multilateral trading system in order to stop the tendency for countries to take unilateral trade action. GATT therefore has a crucial part to play. A large number of issues for negotiation and specific negotiating proposals have been put forward by many participants, including the European Community. These cover such topics as reform of agricultural support, trade in services, better protection for intellectual property, GATT disputes settlement mechan-isms, tariffs and the treatment of tropical products. There is a good basis for the phase of substantive negotiation, which begins next year. The Uruguay round is due to be completed in 1990.