HL Deb 09 May 2001 vol 625 c207WA
Lord Harrison

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether shipbuilders in South Korea are still beneficiaries from unfair subsidies, allowed by their government, to the detriment of the British and European Union shipbuilding industries; and, if so, what further steps they propose to take in conjunction with other European Union member states to remedy the situation. [HL2085]

The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville)

We have long recognised the adverse impact that Korean unfair competition has had upon the world shipbuilding market. The European Union (EU) is pursuing, with our firm support, a bilateral/trade remedy to this issue. The EU has been trying to secure a bilateral solution over the last year but, to our great disappointment, this has stalled. In view of this, the industry launched last November a Trade Barriers Regulation (TBR) case against Korea. In the absence of a bilateral solution, the EU will need to take a decision, on the basis of the recommendations of the European Commission's TBR investigation report, on taking action in the World Trade Organisation. If the Commission's examination does confirm the case against Korea and does recommend action in the WTO, we would be minded to support such action, subject to completing our review of the Commission's report.