HC Deb 03 March 1994 vol 238 cc802-3W
Ms Coffey

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement about the progress of the general agreement on tariffs and trade regulations on aviation services.

Mr. Needham

Air transport services fall within the scope of the general agreement on trade in services, which forms part of the GATT agreement. The annex on air transport services notes that the agreement does not apply to measures affecting air transport traffic rights. A number of countries have made liberalisation commitments in services related to repair and maintenance, sales and marketing and computer reservation systems. There will be periodic reviews to consider whether the extent of the application of the agreement to air transport services should be expanded.

The GATT negotiations on trade in civil aircraft will continue for a further year following the conclusion of the GATT round. The Government are keen that these negotiations should resume at the earliest opportunity, in order to allow time for the negotiation of an agreement covering the whole aerospace sector, to include balanced disciplines on direct and indirect support while protecting existing Government launch aid. Meanwhile, the Government, in conjunction with industry, the European Commission, and other EU Governments, are carrying out an analysis of the various options for achieving such an agreement.