HC Deb 09 November 1999 vol 337 cc475-6W
Mrs. Browning

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what representations he has made to the European Commission about the accelerated tariff liberalisation proposed by APEC; and if he will make a statement; [97151]

(2) what analysis he has made of the advantages and disadvantages of APEC's proposals in respect of accelerated tariff liberalisation of (a) chemicals, (b) energy products, (c) environmental products, (d) fish, (e) forest products, (f) gems and jewellery, (g) medical and scientific equipment and (h) toys. [97150]

Mr. Byers

[holding answer 4 November 1999]: APEC's proposals have been considered in detail at both national and Community level. We and all other member states have concluded that the APEC approach is selective and excludes sectors of importance to the EU. Our preference is to optimise market access within the framework of a comprehensive negotiation rather than accelerated sectoral liberalisation but we see no reason why sectoral agreements reached in the course of a comprehensive negotiation could not be implemented on a provisional basis prior to the formal conclusion of the New Round.