§ Mr. Watson
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what action he intends to take, in conjunction with the United States of America and European Community countries, to protect the leather industry when the current tariff quota agreement expires in March 1991.220W
§ Mr. Redwood
[holding answer 4 July 1990]: The hon. Member is right that the tariff quota agreement with Japan expires in March 1991.
The agreement imposes high import duties on all but a small volume of EC imports of dressed leather and leather footwear whereas EC import duties on those products are low.
Negotiations are handled by the EC. They are currently aiming to reduce Japan's import duties on dressed leather and leather footwear in the Uruguay round and bilaterally.
The EC Commission will look at any allegations of unfair trade practices if damage is being done to the domestic EC industry.