§ Mr. Spellar
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 20 December,Official Report, column 1176, what was the response of the US Government when he raised the question of "Buy American" clauses. 
§ Mr. Arbuthnot
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence raised Her Majesty's Government's concerns over "Buy American" restrictions during his recent visit to Washington. The US Department of Defense has begun to remove such restrictions where they are not required for national security reasons or mandated by law, and is urging the US Congress to follow suit. Regrettably, Congress voted to retain several old restrictions and to introduce a number of new ones in this year's defence legislation. Her Majesty's Government will continue to press for the reversal of these damaging provisions.