HC Deb 02 February 1999 vol 324 cc585-6W
Mr. Vaz

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received from UK businesses in respect of the US Government proposal to impose tariffs on UK cashmere goods; what was the total value of UK cashmere goods exported (a) in total and (b) to the US in the last year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [68172]

Mr. Wilson

I met with a delegation of manufacturers of Cashmere products led by the hon. Members for Roxburgh and Berwickshire (Mr. Kirkwood) and for Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale (Mr. Moore) on 20 January. I share their concerns on this issue. I have also had representation from companies involved in the cashmere industry, throughout the UK.

Based on statistics published by US International Trade Commission, UK exports of cashmere goods to the US were approximately £17.5 million in 1997. There is no UK tariff heading directly equivalent to this particular US tariff code. However, UK Customs and Excise data indicate that UK exports to the US of cashmere sweaters under the most closely corresponding UK tariff codes (61101035 and 61101095) were £3.2 million in 1997. Total UK exports of cashmere sweaters under these codes were £30.8 million.

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